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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Recover
by Tom Moeller April 13, 2005

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications recovered 6.1% last week to the highest level in four weeks. Nevertheless, the average level so far in April is 3.9% below March which fell 4.8% from February.

Purchase applications reversed all of the prior week's decline and rose 6.4%. The average so far in April is up 0.5% versus March. During the last ten years there has been a 50% correlation between the y/y change in purchase applications and the change in new plus existing single family home sales.

Applications to refinance recovered all of the prior two weeks' declines with a 5.6% jump though the April average still is down 9.8% from March.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-year mortgage rose to 6.22% and the effective rate on a 15-year mortgage rose to 5.85%.

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.

Moving Up: Trends in Homeownership and Mortgage Indebtedness from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia can be found here.

MBA Mortgage Applications (3/16/90=100) 04/08/05 04/01/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Market Index 683.6 644.5 -13.3% 735.1 1,067.9 799.7
  Purchase 474.5 446.0 9.8% 454.5 395.1 354.7
  Refinancing 1,899.6 1,798.8 -33.6% 2,366.8 4,981.8 3,388.0
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