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Mortgage Applications Decline 4.5% as Rates Hold Steady


Mortgage applications decreased 4.5 percent over the week last week with most of the decrease occurring among refinance applications, according to the latest survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinance activity fell 5 percent compared to the previous week, while purchase activity declined 2 percent. Refinance applications continue to make up a majority of applications, taking an 81 percent share of total mortgage application activity for the week ending August 10. Adjustable-rate mortgages made up 4 percent of total applications for the week.

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Declining Affordability Is Good for the Market: NAHB

After reaching a record high of 77.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, housing affordability declined to 73.8 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to the Housing Opportunity Index. The HOI measures the percentage of homes sold in a particular quarter that are affordable to those earning at the median income level. In the second quarter, 73.8 percent of homes sold were affordable to those earning the national median income of $65,000. Fairbanks, Alaska, posted the highest affordability rate.

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Ellie Mae: Closing Rate for Purchase Loans Up for 3rd Straight Month

Ellie Mae released its most recent Origination Insight Report Wednesday, revealing that July├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós closing rate for all loan applications fell from June├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós total. The report draws data from a sampling of loan applications that go through Ellie Mae├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós network and mortgage management software. To get a meaningful view of lender ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£pull-through,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø the company reviewed a sample of applications initiated in April to come up with a closing rate for July. Ellie Mae found that 45.8 percent of all applications closed in July.

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MVB Financial Credits Lending Division for Q2 Success

MVB Financial Corp. and its bank holding company MVB Bank, Inc., have announced a second-quarter earnings boost of 28.4 percent year-over-year, and the company says its mortgage unit should receive much of the credit for the positive quarterly results. The West Virginia-based company noted in an official statement that robust commercial loan demand and strong mortgage lending were the catalysts behind MVB Financial's successful performance.

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Marketcore’s Transaction Credit Tool Receives Recognition

Connecticut-based Marketcore, Inc., is receiving recognition in a recently released white paper from the National Association of Insurance Commissioner's Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR). The financial services provider was cited in the group's report for its inventive Transaction Credits tool, which provides incentives to originators, aggregators, and investors who use the system to report events related to the value of underlying mortgages.

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Hollywood Heavyweight Lists Utah Chalet for $20.5M

Hollywood heavyweight Jeffrey Katzenberg has put his swanky estate in Deer Park, Utah, on the market. Katzenberg, currently the CEO of DreamWorks Animation, listed the luxurious log cabin ski chalet for $20.5 million, according to Realestalker.

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Builder Confidence Soars To Five-plus Year High in August

Builder confidence improved two points in August to 37, its highest level since February 2007, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported Wednesday. Economists had expected the index to remain flat at 35. The improvement in the index in August marked the fourth straight month-month gain.

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Freddie Mac: 95% of Q2 Refis Went for Fixed-Rate Loans

For borrowers who refinanced in the second quarter, fixed-rate mortgages dominated consumer preferences. Among those who refinanced in Q2, more than 95 percent opted for a fixed-rate mortgage, according to the Freddie Mac Quarterly Product Transition report. For those who had a hybrid ARM, 81 percent transitioned into a fixed-rate loan during the second quarter; the percentage represents the highest share in two years. In contrast, for those with a 15-year fixed rate loan, 2 percent transitioned into a hybrid ARM.

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No News, Good News? Mortgage Rates Slip as Economy Dithers

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.42 percent this week as market watchers waited for news about the economy. Zillow found the benchmark home loan falling from 3.44 percent last week, only after peaking at 3.47 percent on Wednesday. Interest rates for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.76 percent, while those for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages hovered around 2.4 percent. Mortgage rates zigzagged across much of the rest of the country, falling 12 basis points in New York but rising by three basis points in Illinois.

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