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Looking back, the housing industry is totally Scrooged

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Gross Weekly Applications Jump 15%: MBA

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Prospective mortgage borrowers filed 14.6% more applications in the week ending February 26 than the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) survey of gross mortgage activity. The volume of applications for refinance increased 17.2%, and the volume of applications for purchase rose 9% over the previous week. The refinance share of application activity rose to 69.1% of total applications, MBA found, from 68.1% the week before. "Mortgage applications rebounded last week, particularly refis, as rates dropped back below 5 percent," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA vice president of research and economics. "Purchase activity remains subdued, with application volumes remaining within the narrow range seen in the last few months." Household activity in the mortgage application process declined 6.3% in the same week, according to the Mortgage Maxx weekly survey, which adjusts gross mortgage applications to reflect the number of households applying. "There are just two months for home purchase contracts to be signed to take advantage of the tax credit," Mortgage Maxx said in weekly commentary. "Since purchasing a home is at the very least a multi-month endeavor and multi-week just to get the initial paperwork in place, one would have thought by now to see a line for the tax candy. We’ll see over the next eight weeks." Write to Diana Golobay.

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