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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Lower
by Tom Moeller March 23, 2005

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications dropped 9.5% last week and pulled the average level in March 4.1% below February.

Applications to refinance plummeted 16.5% leaving the February average off 13.5% from February.

Purchase applications fell for the first week in the last four. The 3.5% decline still left purchase applications 5.1% higher than in February.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-year mortgage rose to 6.19% from 6.16% the prior week and from 5.85% in February. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also rose to 5.81%.

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) 03/18/05 03/11/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Market Index 658.8 727.6 -40.9% 735.1 1,067.9 799.7
  Purchase 446.4 462.8 -0.6% 454.5 395.1 354.7
  Refinancing 1,894.4 2,267.5 -62.0% 2,366.8 4,981.8 3,388.0
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