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Mortgage Applications Drop for Seventh Straight Week

Mortgage application volume declined last week at a more sudden rate than in previous weeks, according to data from the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).

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The Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey fell 3.7 percent for the week ending July 26, the association reported. On an unadjusted basis, the index decreased an estimated 4 percent.

The Refinance Index dropped 4 percent from the previous week, though the refinance share of total mortgage activity was unchanged at roughly 63 percent. Mike Fratantoni, MBA's VP of research and economics, noted the refinance index is now ""more than 55 percent lower than its recent peak, reaching the lowest level in over two years.""

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent week-over-week. The unadjusted index was also down 3 percent, standing about 5 percent higher than the same week a year ago.

The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 4.58 percent, though points fell slightly to 0.38 from 0.40 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

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