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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Rise on Higher Refis
by Tom Moeller November 17, 2004

Mortgage applications rose 4.3% last week and reversed nearly all of the prior week's decline, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Applications to refinance jumped 10.7%, up 74.3% from the early June low.

Purchase applications slipped for the second week but a late month jump lifted the November average so far 5.0% versus October. 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 was about stable at 5.95%. It averaged 5.92% in October. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also was about stable at 5.40%.

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) 11/12/04 11/05/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total Market Index 758.3 727.3 14.3% 1,067.9 799.7 625.6
  Purchase 480.3 483.0 12.8% 395.1 354.7 304.9
  Refinancing 2,375.4 2,148.7 16.2% 4,981.8 3,388.0 2,491.0
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