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Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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RISMEDIA, March 12, 2009-The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 6, 2009. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 723.4, an increase of 11.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from 649.7 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 11.6% compared with the previous week and 5.75 compared with the same week one year earlier.

The Refinance Index increased 13.3% to 3470.7 from 3063.4 the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 7.1% to 253.3 from 236.4 one week earlier. The Conventional Purchase Index increased 5.4% while the Government Purchase Index (largely FHA) increased 10.4%.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 4.3%. The four week moving average is up 1.8% for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 5.4% for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 67.9% of total applications from 66.9% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 2.3% of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.96% from 5.14%, with points increasing to 1.16 from 1.05 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. This contract rate is the second lowest in the history of the survey, with the record low being 4.89% for the week ending January 9, 2009.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.54% from 4.73%, with points increasing to 1.2 from 1.13 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 6.21% from 6.13%, with points decreasing to 0.16 from 0.18 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

The survey covers approximately 50% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

For more information, visit www.mortgagebankers.org

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