Mortgage applications fell 38.8 percent last week as interest rates on most loans remained elevated above recent lows, the Mortgage Bankers Association said. Applications for refinance loans fell 48 percent from the previous week during the week ending Jan. 23, while applications for purchase loans were off a more modest 2.9 percent, the MBA said. While applications for conventional purchase loans were down 7.8 percent, applications for loans covered by government guarantee programs (largely FHA) were up 8.8 percent. The numbers were seasonally adjusted and also took into account the shortened holiday week.Refinance loans represented a smaller share of total applications last week -- 72.8 percent, compared with 83.3 percent the previous week. The share of applications for adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 2.4 percent, up from 1.5 percent the week before.The MBA's weekly application survey of members showed the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to...
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