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Fewer Americans completed applications to purchase homes in the week ending Sept. 14, an industry trade group said. This cooling occurred despite interest rates hitting new lows.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's market composite index – a measure of loan application volume – edged down 0.2% from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis. The purchase index, which measures applications filed for mortgages on home purchases, fell 4%.

Refinance activity, on the other hand, grew 1% from the previous week, with applications tied to the Home Affordable Refinancing Program – or HARP 2.0 – representing 22% of all refinancing filings.

Homeowners seeking to refinance an existing mortgage dominated the marketplace, representing 81% of all applications.

The average contract interest rate for the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage within conforming loan limits fell to 3.72%, the lowest rate in the survey's history, and down from 3.75%.

In addition, the 30-year, FRM with a jumbo loan balance of $417,000 or greater fell to 3.99% from 4% the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for a 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA remained unchanged at 3.55%, while the 15-year, FRM declined to 3.03% from 3.07% a week earlier.

The 5/1 ARM also declined to its lowest rate in survey history, reaching 2.61%.


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