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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Down
by Tom Moeller September 1, 2004

The index of mortgage applications compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association fell a slight 0.6% last week. For the month of August total applications are 1.6% higher versus July.

Purchase applications slipped 0.1% last week and so far this month are 2.8% below July.

During the last ten years there has been a 59% correlation between the y/y change in purchase applications and the change in new plus existing home sales.

Applications to refinance mortgages fell 1.1% but in August are 8.8% ahead of July.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-Year mortgage fell slightly to 6.02%. That is down from 6.24% averaged last month and the high of 6.53% in May. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also fell to 5.44%.

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) 08/27/04 08/20/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total Market Index 642.7 646.3 2.2% 1,067.9 799.7 625.6
  Purchase 443.1 443.7 11.9% 395.1 354.7 304.9
  Refinancing 1,804.1 1,824.9 -9.0% 4,981.8 3,388.0 2,491.0
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