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Mortgage Apps Rebound; Refinancing Activity Still Slow

Mortgage applications rebounded last week, according to a survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, while applications for adjustable-rate mortgages continued to plunge. The Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey found an increase of 3.6 percent in application volume on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, applications decreased 27.4 percent compared with the previous week and were up 6.9 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.
An index of refinancing activity increased by 2.2 percent, the MBA said, while conventional application volume increased by 3.8 percent from the previous week. Government mortgage applications increased as well, up 0.7 percent. In spite of these increases, the four-week moving average for total application volume remains off 2.8 percent from the previous four-week period. Refinancing activity was the primary culprit, dropping 4.4 percent. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 48.1 percent of total applications from 48.8 percent the previous week. Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity also decreased to 20.4 from 23.1 percent of total applications from the previous week. The reported ARM share represents the lowest reported level of adjustable rate mortgage applications since July 2003.

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