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Mortgage Apps Decline Again; Drop in Refis Drives Downward Trend

Mortgage applications continued to edge downward last week, the latest sign of borrower hesitance in the face of a declining housing market, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 671, a decrease of 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 672.1 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 0.2 percent compared with the previous week and was up 16.6 percent compared with the same week one year earlier. Borrowers looking to refinance has decreased significantly in the past few weeks, helping drive the downward trend in overall mortgage application volume. The MBA said its Refinance Index decreased 0.5 percent to 2197.7 from 2208.6 the previous week, while its seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index increased 0.1 percent to 411.1 from 410.6 one week earlier.
The seasonally adjusted Conventional Index decreased 0.4 percent to 993.8 from 997.4 the previous week, and the seasonally adjusted Government Index increased 2.4 percent to 132.8 from 129.7 the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 45.1 percent of total applications from 45.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 20.2 from 20.9 percent of total applications from the previous week.
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