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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Lower
by Tom Moeller April 20, 2005

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications fell 1.6% last week and pulled the average level so far in April 3.5% below March which fell 4.8% from February.

Purchase applications fell 1.6% for the second decline in three weeks. The average in April still is 1.0% ahead of March which rose 6.1% from February. 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 fell 1.6% and the April average is off 9.4% from March.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-year mortgage fell to 6.08% from 6.22% the prior week. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also fell to 5.70%.

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) 04/15/05 04/08/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Market Index 672.6 683.6 -9.7% 735.1 1,067.9 799.7
  Purchase 466.7 474.5 7.5% 454.5 395.1 354.7
  Refinancing 1,870.0 1,899.6 -26.7% 2,366.8 4,981.8 3,388.0
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