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Mortgage Apps Experience Steeper Decline

After seeing their first notable drop of the year in February’s first week, mortgage applications continued to slide down a slipperier slope approaching the middle of the month, the Mortgage Bankers Association [1] (MBA) reported.

According to MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, loan application volume dropped 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending February 14. Unadjusted, the index was down a smaller 2 percent.

Refinance apps fell 3 percent, MBA reported, with the refinance share of mortgage activity declining a percentage point to 61 percent, its lowest level since September 2013.

Purchase numbers were no better: MBA’s seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent week-over-week, ending up at its lowest level since September 2011. The unadjusted Purchase Index was down 2 percent compared to the prior week and 17 percent compared to the same week a year ago.

The drop in application volume accompanied a mild increase in 30-year fixed mortgage rates, which were up to 4.50 percent for the week. Meanwhile, points fell to 0.26 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value loans.