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Mortgage Application Volume Declines 5%: MBA

Mortgage application volume ticked down by 5 percent from the week before, with the refinance share of activity deflating sharply.


The ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) adjusted the latest numbers to account for the Martin Luther King holiday in a Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey it released Wednesday.

The trade group's Market Composite Index recorded a drop-off in application volume by 13.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index saw numbers fall by 5.4 percent from the week before, while the same fell 9.7 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis.


The refinance share of mortgage activity contracted by a sizeable 81.3 percent of total application volume, corresponding with a dip by 5.2 percent for the Refinance Index.

The MBA said that 56.6 percent of refinancing borrowers went for the 30-year fixed-rate loan in December 2011, while 24.3 percent exchanged past interest rates for 15-year loans for current rates. About 5.3 percent of the same refinanced their adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).

As a share of market activity, ARMs by themselves declined from 5.6 percent to 5.3 percent of total application volume from the week before. The four-week moving average for the Market Index climbed 4.12 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the Purchase Index went up 0.47 percent, also on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Mortgage rates increased on the whole last week, with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances in line with increases from 4.06 percent to 4.11 percent.

Interest rates for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration went up from 3.91 percent to 3.97 percent, while figures for the 15-year loan arrived at 3.40 percent, up from 3.33 percent.

Contract interest rates for 30-year loans with jumbo loan balances fell by a percentage point to crest at 4.39 percent last week.