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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Up A Bit
by Tom Moeller March 30, 2005

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications recovered 2.4% last week following the 9.4% drop during the prior period. The average level in March 4.8% below February.

Purchase applications rose 5.5% to the highest level of the year. Purchase applications in March are 6.2% higher than in February.

Applications to refinance added 2.0% to the 16.5% decline the prior week. The decline pulled the March average down 16.1% versus February.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-year mortgage rose further to 6.34% from 6.19% the prior week and from 5.85% averaged in February. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also rose to 5.96%.

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) 03/25/05 03/18/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Market Index 674.3 658.8 -38.2% 735.1 1,067.9 799.7
  Purchase 470.9 446.4 6.1% 454.5 395.1 354.7
  Refinancing 1,857.2 1,894.2 -61.8% 2,366.8 4,981.8 3,388.0
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