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Mortgage Applications Steady in Latest Survey

Mortgage application volume remained essentially flat last week, with refinance and purchase loan numbers canceling each other out, the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://mba.org/default.htm (MBA) reported Wednesday.

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According to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey, loan application volume fell a scant 0.2 percent (seasonally adjusted) for the week ending January 24. The [COLUMN_BREAK]

results include an adjustment to account for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, on which markets were closed.

Unadjusted, applications fell 9 percent week-over-week.

MBA's Refinance Index decreased 2 percent on a weekly basis, with refinance share falling 2 percentage points to 62 percent.

That decline was offset by a 2 percent gain in the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index.

On an unadjusted basis, the Purchase Index fell 3 percent from the previous week, dropping 12 percent lower than the same time last year.

Meanwhile, the group recorded a decline in long-term fixed rates for the week. According to MBA's measure, the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.52 percent last week, down from 4.57 percent and the lowest rate since the end of November. Points increased to 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

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