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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) published 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 shows that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) increased 11 basis points to 4.50% since last week, while purchase application volume increased 1% and refinance application volume increased 2% over the same period. The following charts show the average interest rate for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages since 2006, as well as purchase, refinance, and composite loan volumes.

Source: Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey - Dec. 11, 2013