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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Dipped Again
by Tom Moeller August 3, 2005

Total mortgage applications dipped 0.3% last week, the fifth decline in the last seven weeks according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The decline lowered the average level in July 1.4% below June.

Again, the weekly decline was led by applications to refinance which fell 3.0% following a 11.4% drop the week prior. Applications to refinance are down 24.2% from the peak in early June.

Purchase applications went the other way last week with a 1.9% rise following three consecutive weeks of decline. The average level in July rose 0.9% versus 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 rose to 6.06%, it's highest in three months. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also rose 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) 07/29/05 07/22/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Market Index 752.1 754.3 21.2% 735.1 1,067.9 799.7
  Purchase 494.5 485.1 9.4% 454.5 395.1 354.7
  Refinancing 2,250.3 2,320.3 40.6% 2,366.8 4,981.8 3,388.0
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