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RISMEDIA, March 5, 2009-The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 27, 2009. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 649.7, a decrease of 12.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from 743.5 one week earlier, which was a shortened week due to the Presidents’ Day holiday. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2.0% compared with the previous week and 6.7% compared with the same week one year earlier.

The Refinance Index decreased 15.3% to 3063.4 from 3618.0 the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5.6% to 236.4 from 250.5 one week earlier. The seasonally adjusted Conventional Purchase Index decreased 6.5% while the Government Purchase Index (largely FHA) decreased 3.9%.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 4.8% to 717.3. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index is down 2.5% to 245.0, which is the lowest level since April 1998. This average is down 5.7% to 3469.2 for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 66.9% of total applications from 69.7% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 2.3% from 1.9% of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.14% from 5.07%, with points decreasing to 1.05 from 1.25 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.73% from 4.71%, with points increasing to 1.13 from 1.12 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs was unchanged at 6.13%, with points decreasing to 0.18 from 0.21 (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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