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RISMEDIA, February 24, 2011—Mortgage applications increased 13.2% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 18, 2011.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 13.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 14.8% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 17.8% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5.1% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9.6% compared with the previous week and was 6.9% lower than the same week one year ago.

“Ongoing turmoil in the Middle East brought interest rates lower last week. Borrowers took advantage of these lower rates, bringing application activity back near levels from two weeks ago, following sharp declines last week,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 1.9%. The four week moving average is up 1.6% for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 1.8% for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 65.7% of total applications from 64.0% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.6% from 6.0% of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.00% from 5.12%, with points increasing to 0.97 from 0.85 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.28% from 4.34%, with points decreasing to 0.80 from 0.85 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate also decreased from last week.

For more information, visit www.mortgagebankers.org.

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