The U.S. mortgage applications
last week decreased slightly despite mortgage rates keeping near
record lows, showed the latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey
released on Wednesday by the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The association said that the Market Composite Index of U.S. mortgage applications, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell 1.2 percent in the week ending March 2, 2012, on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week.
The Refinance Index dropped 2.0 percent from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index moved down 1.77 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average fell 2.04 percent for the Refinance Index, while this average was down 0.47 percent for the Purchase Index, according to the survey.
In addition, the association said that the average contract interest rate for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages last week both remained near record lows, with 3.87 percent and 3.36 percent, respectively.
To help responsible homeowners, Obama administration on Tuesday announced a new mortgage relief plan. Borrowers with house mortgages insured by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration will be able to refinance at half the fee that the agency currently charges, which is considered to stimulate mortgage refinance activities.
Recently, the U.S. housing market has seen modest improvement. However, many economists hold that the U.S. housing market still needs years to recover entirely, saying that serious imbalance between supply and demand, tight mortgage credit, and overhang of empty and foreclosed homes would hinder the rebound of housing market.
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