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Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Slipped
by Tom Moeller August 4, 2004

The index of mortgage applications compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association slipped 0.2% last week after rising 0.6% the prior week. Applications in July rose 8.8% versus June.

Purchase applications rose 1.6% following the 1.0% gain the prior week. The July average was 4.2% higher than June.

During the last ten years there has been a 63% correlation between the y/y change in purchase applications and the change in new plus existing home sales.

Applications to refinance mortgages fell 2.9%, down for the fourth straight week. Refi's in July were 17.3% ahead of June.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-Year mortgage was about stable at 6.26% and 6.24% in July. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage also was about stable at 5.71%.

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) 07/30/04 07/23/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total Market Index 620.4 621.9 -36.9% 1,067.9 799.7 625.6
  Purchase 452.0 444.8 -1.0% 395.1 354.7 304.9
  Refinancing 1,600.3 1,648.8 -60.5% 4,981.8 3,388.0 2,491.0
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