The Mortgage Bankers Association's purchase applications index fell 2.9 percent to 294.3 in the holiday shortened week of Jan. 23. The refinance index dropped 48 percent to 3,373.9. These numbers bounce around quite a bit especially in shortened weeks. The most interesting numbers in the report are mortgage rates led by the 30-year fixed rate which remains stubbornly above 5 percent, at an average 5.22 percent for a 2 basis point decline in the week. Existing home sales data on Monday were much better than expected though home prices are way down. New home sales data for December will be released Thursday.
The Mortgage Bankers' Association compiles various mortgage loan indexes. The purchase applications index measures applications at mortgage lenders. This is a leading indicator for single-family home sales and housing construction.
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