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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Flat
by Tom Moeller October 6, 2004

The index of mortgage applications compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association was stable last week with the prior period, but started October 4.1% ahead of the September average.

Applications to refinance rose 2.7% w/w. They began October 11.0% ahead of September when refis rose 12.9% versus August. Purchase applications fell 2.2% and began the month down 1.2% from the September average.

During the last ten years there has been a 60% correlation between the y/y change in purchase applications and the change in new plus existing home sales.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-year mortgage rose to 6.05% versus 5.91% the prior week. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage roe to 5.54%.

"Interest Rates, Yield Curves and the Monetary Regime" from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland can be found here.

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) 10/01/04 09/24/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total Market Index 724.8 724.7 -11.3% 1,067.9 799.7 625.6
  Purchase 459.0 469.1 4.1% 395.1 354.7 304.9
  Refinancing 2,270.8 2,211.1 -24.4% 4,981.8 3,388.0 2,491.0
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