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Mortgage Applications Fall Under Weight of Lower Refi Demand

Mortgage application volume turned down for the first time in more than a month as refinance demand plunged, according to data from the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).

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According to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, applications dropped 7.3 percent for the week ending May 10. On an unadjusted basis, applications were down 7 percent compared to the previous week.

MBA's Refinance Index fell 8 percent week-over-week, the group reported, though the refinance share of total applications was constant at 76 percent.

Purchase loan activity also declined. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 4 percent on a weekly basis. The unadjusted index was also down 4 percent but was 10 percent higher than the same week last year.

While applications tumbled, mortgage rates picked up after seven straight weeks of declines. According to MBA's measure, the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.67 percent last week, up from 3.59 percent the week prior.

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