Mortgage applications decrease over holiday season

The number of mortgage applications for the week ending December 28, 2012 decreased 21.6 percent from the week ending December 14, 2012, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today. The results include an adjustment to account for the Christmas holiday last Tuesday.

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The Refinance Index fell 23.3 percent compared to the week ending December 14, 2012, its third consecutive week of decline, reaching its  lowest level since April 2012. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 14.8 percent, compared with levels reported two weeks ago. The share of refinancing activity dropped to 82 percent of total applications.

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances increased to 3.52 percent from 3.51 percent. Jumbo loan rates decreased to 3.75 percent from 3.77 percent. Rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans decreased to 3.34 percent from 3.35 percent and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.86 percent from 2.84 percent. —Christopher Cameron