Mortgage application volume drops

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The number of mortgage applications decreased nationwide as did the refinance share of mortgage activity, according to the latest weekly Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications survey. For the week ending Feb. 19, there was an 8.5 percent drop in mortgage loan application volume on a seasonally-adjusted basis from the week prior, and refinancings activity decreased to 68.1 percent from 69.3 percent. Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 4.7 percent from 4.4 percent of total applications week-over-week. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the average contract interest rate increased to 5.03 percent from 4.94 percent and for 15-year mortgages, the rate increased to 4.35 percent from 4.33 percent. “As many East Coast markets were digging out from the blizzard last week, purchase applications fell, another indication that housing demand remains relatively weak,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “With home prices continuing to drift amid an abundant inventory of homes on the market, potential homebuyers do not see any urgency to lock in purchases.” TRD