Mortgage Rates Up, Refinancing Applications Down

The Mortgage Bankers Association's refinancing index fell by nearly 50 percent from a week earlier.

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Refinancing applications hit their highest levels in years after mortgage rates plummeted to record lows several weeks back, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. But now that 30-year fixed rates have pushed back above 5 percent--to still attractive levels--interest in refinancing appears to be retreating.

[See Low Mortgage Rates: 7 Things You Need to Know to Refinance.]

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 23, 2009. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 732.1, a decrease of 38.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 1195.3 one week earlier…

The Refinance Index decreased 48 percent to 3373.9 from 6491.8 the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2.9 percent to 294.3 from 303.1 one week earlier…The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 72.8 percent of total applications from 83.3 percent the previous week…

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.22 percent from 5.24 percent, with points decreasing to 1.05 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

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