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Debt Crises Inspire 6.9% Pick-Up in Loan Volume: MBA

Debt crises in Europe spurred a wave of refinance applications last week, leading mortgage loan applications to tick up by 6.9 percent, according to the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).

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The trade group found that mortgage loan application volume went up 6.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before.

""Renewed concerns about sovereign debt in Europe led to a drop in rates last week, with the 30-year rate tying our survey low, reached in early February,"" ""Jay Brinkmann"":http://www.mbaa.org/AboutMBA/GovernanceandManagement/Management/JayBrinkmann.htm, MBA's chief economist, said in a statement.

He said that refinance activity climbed by 13.5 percent accordingly, with 32 percent of survey respondents indicating that their refi volume came from Home

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Affordable Refinance Program loans.

The Refinance Index edged up 13.5 percent from the week before, with the refinance share of mortgage activity increasing to 75.2 percent of the share of total activity.

As a share of activity, adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 5.3 percent from 5.5 percent of total volume from the week before.

Purchases waned from the week earlier. The index by the same name dropped 11.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 10.4 percent on an unadjusted basis.

The four-week moving average edged down by 0.52 percent for the Purchase Index, just as it went up by 2.36 percent for the Refinance Index and 1.60 percent for the Market Index.

Brinkmann said that a 23 percent decline in ""Federal Housing Administration"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory (FHA) purchase loan applications helped engineer a corresponding drop in overall purchase activity.

He noted in the statement that decreases for FHA loans signaled ""the largest weekly drop"" in government purchase indices since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit last year.

Mortgage rates zigzagged alongside increases in mortgage application volume, continuing trends that began with debt crises brought on by growth squeezes in euro zone countries.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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