Applications for mortgages show decline

February 20, 2005|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

Mortgage applications fell for the first time in three weeks, reflecting a decline in home purchases, an industry report showed.

The Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association said its gauge of mortgage applications declined 0.5 percent to 732.3 in the week ending Feb. 11 from the previous week's 735.9. Home purchase applications dropped 4.8 percent to 423.3 from 444.6.

Housing prices rose faster last year than in 2003. The value of previously owned homes rose 8.8 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the corresponding three months a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. In the third quarter, prices rose 7.5 percent.

Refinancing applications rose 4.1 percent in the week to 2,530.1 from 2,430.7, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The level is the highest since April last year, and the increase was the third straight.

Adjustable-rate mortgages accounted for 30.7 percent of all applications compared with the previous week's 31.9 percent.

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