Industry NewsMortgage

Demand for mortgages eases

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Demand for mortgages was off slightly last week, as a drop in rates was offset by an increase in fees, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in reporting the results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.For the week ending March 12, demand for purchase loans declined a seasonally adjusted 2.3 percent from the week before, and was down 13.9 percent from a year ago, the MBA said.Demand for refinancings was down 1.7 percent from the week before, with requests for refinancings accounting for 67.3 percent of applications.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.91 percent from 5.01 percent for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans -- the lowest since December 2009. But the effective rate was unchanged due to a significant increase in points, to 1.3 from 0.82 (including the origination fee).The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.24 percent from 4.32 percent for 80 percent LTV loans, a record low ...