The number of mortgage applications fell last week as interest rates moved higher, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The market composite index, which measures total home loan application volume, was down 5.5 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before. Leading the decline was a 6.4 percent drop in the index that tracks refinancings, followed by a 5 percent decrease in the purchase loan index. "Given the current turmoil in the mortgage market, week-to-week changes in the purchase applications index should be treated with a certain degree of caution," Jay Brinkmann, MBA's vice president of research and economics, said in a statement. "For example, the sudden exit of a major originator several weeks ago may have led to a bump up in applications over the last two weeks as those borrowers caught in the shutdown reapplied for mortgages at other institutions. The drop in applications we see here may be an indication that those borrowers have now been ...
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