Applications for home purchase and refinance loans declined last week even as long-term interest rates dropped, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The market composite index, a measure of total mortgage application volume, last week sank 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the third week in September, according to MBA. Leading the decline was a 3.8 percent drop in the index that tracks new refinance loans, followed by a 1.8 percent dip in the purchase-loan index. Interest rates on long-term loans were lower last week, while those on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) moved higher, MBA reported. The average contract interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.32 percent from 6.38 percent; the 15-year fixed rate slipped to an average 5.95 percent from 6.06 percent; and the one-year ARM increased to 6.21 percent from 6.09 percent. Points, which are loan-processing fees expressed as a percent of the total loan amount, averaged 1.08 on the 30-year l...
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