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Mortgage application volume plummets

/ Source: The Associated Press

Mortgage application volume tumbled 22.6 percent during the week ending Feb. 15 as most interest rates rose, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly application survey.

The MBA's mortgage application index fell to 822.8 for the week, from 1,063.5 during the previous week.

Refinance volume dropped 27.9 percent during the week, while purchase volume fell 11.5 percent. Refinance applications accounted for 61.7 percent of total applications.

The index peaked at 1,856.7 during the week ending May 30, 2003, at the height of the housing boom.

An index value of 100 is equal to the application volume on March 16, 1990, the first week the MBA tracked application volume. A reading of 822.8 means mortgage application activity is 8.228 times higher than it was when the MBA began tracking the data.

The survey provides a snapshot of mortgage lending activity among mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. It covers about 50 percent of all residential retail mortgage originations each week.

Application volume slipped as most interest rates rose sharply. The average interest rate for traditional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.09 percent from 5.72 percent. The average interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular option for refinancing a home, increased to 5.55 percent from 5.18 percent.

The average rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages remained steady at 5.72 percent.