Industry News

Real estate purchases slump

Economist says decline was expected

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Overall mortgage applications dropped 4.8 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest survey. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 6.2 percent to 437.6 from 466.4 the previous week, whereas the refinance index decreased by 2.8 percent to 1,862.8 from 1,916.8 one week earlier. "The seasonally adjusted purchase index is down 7.6 percent since last month. This decline is consistent with our expectations of a softening from the record level of new-home sales during the first three quarters of 2005," said Doug Duncan, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 43.6 percent of total applications from 42.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate-mortgage share of activity decreased to 29.4 percent of total applications from 29.5 percent the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages ...