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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50% of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications.

The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate, for both new- and existing-home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) increased 1 basis point to 3.64% since last week, while the purchase application volume declined a notable 10% and the refinance application volume declined 6% over the same period.

The following chart shows the average interest rate for 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages since 2006 as well as the purchase, refinance and composite loan volumes.




Source: Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey - Feb. 13, 2013