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Mortgage applications slightly up in U.S.

Christian Fernsby |
Mortgage applications increased slightly in the United States as mortgage rates slipped, according to a report from Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

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Topics: MORTGAGE    U.S.   

For the week ending Feb. 21, MBA's market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.5 percent from the previous week.

"Last week appears to have been the calm before the storm. Weaker readings on economic growth caused a slight drop in mortgage rates, bringing them back to their level two weeks ago, but applications overall moved 1.5 percent higher," said Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist of MBA.

Besides, the refinance index, which measures the activity to replace higher rate mortgages with lower rate ones, decreased 1 percent from the previous week, according to MBA.

MBA's purchase index before seasonal adjustment dropped 1 percent from the previous week. After removing the influences of predictable seasonal patterns, the seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 6 percent from the previous week, according to MBA.

"Purchase volume remained strong, supported both by low rates and the increased pace of construction over the past few months," Fratantoni said. "With housing supply at low levels, new inventory is a positive development for prospective homebuyers."

"As fears regarding the coronavirus have increased, Treasury yields have dropped to record lows this week amid the ensuing financial market volatility," Fratantoni added. "Next week's results will show the impact this drop in Treasuries had on mortgage activity."

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