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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Tick Up
by Tom Moeller July 28, 2004

The index of mortgage applications compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association ticked 0.6% higher last week after falling 4.0% the prior week. Applications so far for July are 9.6% above the June average.

Purchase applications rose 1.0% after two down weeks. The July average is 4.7% higher than June.

During the last ten years there has been a 63% correlation between the y/y change in purchase applications and the change in new plus existing home sales.

Applications to refinance mortgages fell for the third straight week. Refi's in July are 18.4% ahead of June.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-Year mortgage ticked up to 6.24% versus 6.22% the prior week. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also was about stable at 5.69%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association surveys between 20 to 35 of the top lenders in the U.S. housing industry to derive its refinance, purchase and market indexes. The weekly survey accounts for more than 40% of all applications processed each week by mortgage lenders. Visit the Mortgage Bankers Association site here.

MBA Mortgage Applications (3/16/90=100) 07/23/04 07/16/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total Market Index 621.4 617.9 -36.1% 1,067.9 799.7 625.6
  Purchase 444.8 440.3 4.2% 395.1 354.7 304.9
  Refinancing 1,648.8 1,651.1 -60.2% 4,981.8 3,388.0 2,491.0
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