Demand for purchase mortgages held steady during the week ending July 24, but requests for refinance loans were off 10.9 percent from the week before as mortgage rates inched up, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its Weekly Applications Survey.

An index measuring application volume for both purchase and refinance loans was down a seasonally adjusted 6.3 percent from the week before.

Request for refinancings accounted for 52.6 percent of total mortgage applications, down from 55.5 percent the previous week and a peak of 85.3 percent during the first week in January.

Mortgage financier Freddie Mac anticipates 2009 mortgage originations will exceed last year’s by 35 percent, and that refinancings will account for 67 percent of a projected $2.3 trillion in home loans (see story).

At 5.36 percent, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was up from 5.31 percent, although points decreased to 0.93 from 1.18 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.75 percent from 4.8 percent, with points increasing to 1.14 from 1.03 for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 6.66 percent from 6.5 percent, with points decreasing to 0.09 from 0.11 for 80 percent LTV loans.

Requests for adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans accounted for 5.5 percent of all applications, up from 4.8 percent the previous week.


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