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Daily Real Estate News  |  December 24, 2008  |   Amid Rate Drops, Mortgage Applications Soar
With interest rates approaching reaching historic lows,
the application volume for mortgages jumped a seasonally adjusted 48 percent last week compared with the previous
week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly survey.

Application activity for the week ending December 19th was 124.6 percent over the same period a year ago,
the Washington, D.C-based MBA said. The spike in applications coincided with another drop in mortgage rates,
as the government's efforts to unfreeze the residential-mortgage market show further signs of having the desired effect.

Applications to refinance existing mortgages increased 62.6 percent on a week-to-week basis, while applications filed
for mortgages to buy homes increased a seasonally adjusted 10.6 percent.

Refinancings made up 83.2 percent of all applications filed last week, up from 76.9 percent the previous week.

According to the MBA survey, interest rates fell across the board:
  • Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.04 percent last week, their lowest level in more than five years.
This was down from 5.18 percent the previous week.
  • Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.91 percent, down from 4.93 percent the week before.
  • One-year ARMs averaged 6.36 percent, down from 6.63 percent.

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association and MarketWatch (12/24/08)

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