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Mortgage Applications Experience Slight Decline

Last week saw another drop in mortgage application volume, the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://mba.org/default.htm (MBA) reported in its Weekly Applications Survey.

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MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent the week ending November 22, the group [COLUMN_BREAK]

reported. It was the fourth straight week of decreases in loan application activity.

On an unadjusted basis, the index declined 9 percent week-over-week.

Refinance applications increased 0.1 percent from the previous week, with refinances making up 66 percent of total application volume (up from 64 percent).

That gain was offset by a slight drop in the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, which was down 0.2 percent compared to the previous week. (The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent week-over-week, ending the week 35 percent higher than the same time last year.)

The slight falloff in application volume accompanied a similarly small increase in mortgage rates. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage last week was 4.48 percent, up from 4.46 percent. However, with points falling to 0.31 (including the origination fee), MBA noted the effective rate was actually down from the prior week.

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