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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Slip
by Tom Moeller December 15, 2004

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Survey, mortgage applications slipped 1.0% last week and so far in December are 3.6% below the November average.

Purchase applications eased 0.4% after the prior week's 6.6% rise and in December are 3.9% ahead of November. 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 slid for the fifth week in the last six, by 2.0%, and are down 13.1% versus November.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-year mortgage fell to 5.90% and the effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also fell to 5.35%.

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) 12/10/04 12/03/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total Market Index 689.0 696.2 1.7% 1,067.9 799.7 625.6
  Purchase 488.9 490.9 11.8% 395.1 354.7 304.9
  Refinancing 1,852.4 1,890.6 -10.6% 4,981.8 3,388.0 2,491.0
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