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Mortgage applications declined 0.3% from a week earlier for the seven-day period ending Feb. 24, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

The results were adjusted to account for the Presidents Day Holiday.

The decline in the MBA's market composite index shows mortgage applications down overall with refinancing activity falling 2.2% for the survey period.

During the same week, the seasonally adjusted purchase index grew 8.2%. 

Still, activity overall slowed as the refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 77.9% from 80.1% the previous week.

"Mortgage rates remained near survey lows last week, but refinance volume fell slightly," said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association. "According to survey participants, more than 20 percent of refinance applications were for HARP loans. The HARP share of total refinance applications has increased over the past month. Purchase application volume increased over the week, but remains within the narrow and anemic range of activity we have seen since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in May 2010."

The average interest rate for a 30-year FRM with a conforming loan balance of $417,500 or less declined from 4.09% to 4.07%. In addition, the average contract interest rate for the 30-year, FRM with a jumbo loan balance increased from 4.32% to 4.34%.  

The 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA fell from 3.87% to 3.86%. 



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