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Looking back, the housing industry is totally Scrooged

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Mortgage applications decline 7.5% as refinancing activity subsides

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Mortgage applications fell 7.5% this past week in response to the market's slight calming in the wake of major geopolitical events and fewer refinancings after rate increases in prior weeks, the Mortgage Bankers Association said. The market composite index -- a measure of loan volume -- declined 7.5% after experiencing a 2.7% increase on a seasonally adjusted basis last week. On an unadjusted basis, the index decreased 7.2%. The four-week moving average for the seasonally adjusted market index is up 2%, while the four-week moving averages for the purchase index and refinance index are up 2.1% and 2%, respectively. The unadjusted purchase index fell 1.5% over last week and is now down 21.9% when compared to the same week a year earlier. Refinancing activity during the period decreased to 64.3% of total applications, the second lowest refinance share since May of last year. Meanwhile, the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed mortgage increased to 4.92% from 4.80% a week ago. In addition, the average rate for a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 4.16% from 4.02%. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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