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Volatile mortgage application filings drop as rates fall below 5%

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The volume of mortgage applications filed in the past week fell 6.5% after experiencing a 10% surge a week earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. A survey of loan applications for the week ended Feb. 25 shows the market composite index -- a measure of loan volume -- decreasing 6.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis when compared to a week ago. On an unadjusted basis the index decreased 5.5% compared with the previous week. The four-week moving average for the seasonally adjusted market index is down 2.5% after rising almost 2% a week earlier, while the four-week moving averages for the purchase index and refinance index are down 2.2% and 2.7%, respectively. Refinancing activity during the period fell to 64.9% of total applications, compared to 65.7% a week earlier. Meanwhile, the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed mortgage dropped to 4.84% from 5% a week earlier. In addition, the average rate for a 15-year, fixed mortgage declined to 4.17% from 4.28%. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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