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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Fell
by Tom Moeller July 27, 2005

Total mortgage applications fell 5.8% last week, the fourth decline in the last six weeks according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The decline lowered the average level in July 0.2% below June.

Last week's decline was led by a 11.4% drop in applications to refinance and they are down 21.8% from the peak in early June.

Purchase applications slipped only 0.7% w/w but it was the fifth decline in the last six weeks. Nevertheless, the average level in July remained 0.9% ahead of June. During the last ten years there has been a 49% correlation between the y/y change in purchase applications and the change in new plus existing single family home sales.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-year mortgage crept up to 5.98% while the effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also rose to 5.63%.

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) 07/22/05 07/15/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Market Index 754.3 801.1 21.4% 735.1 1,067.9 799.7
  Purchase 485.1 488.7 9.1% 454.5 395.1 354.7
  Refinancing 2,320.2 2,618.2 40.7% 2,366.8 4,981.8 3,388.0
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