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Mortgage applications up slightly

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Mortgage applications nudged up slightly last week as a small increase in refinance applications was all but cancelled out by a reduction in applications for purchase loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.The MBA's Market Composite Index showed mortgage application volume up 0.5 percent from the week before on a seasonally adjusted basis, and down 31.2 percent from a year ago on an unadjusted basis. Applications for refinance loans increased 0.3 percent from the previous week, while purchase applications fell 0.6 percent. The Government Purchase Index, which is largely FHA-backed loans, increased 3.3 percent. The refinance share of mortgage activity last week increased 4 basis points from a week earlier, to 35.2 percent of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased by 1 basis point to 7.9 percent of total applications.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.44 percent, down from 6.47 percent at mid-mon...