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U.S. mortgage applications edge down despite lower rates

(Xinhua)

08:27, July 12, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. mortgage applications edged down last week for the fourth straight week, even though mortgage rates moved lower, said the latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association, found that the Market Composite Index of U.S. mortgage applications, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell 2.1 percent in the week ending July 6, 2012, on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week.

The Refinance Index declined 3 percent from the previous week, with its share of mortgage activity falling to 77 percent of total applications. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index gained 3 percent from a week earlier.

The average 30-year contract interest rate hit the record low of 3.63 percent, while the 15-year declined to 3.15 percent.

In June, the average loan size of all loans for home purchase was 240,897 U.S. dollars, down from 243,733 dollars in the previous month, while average loan size for a refinance also dipped to 218,619 dollars, according to the survey.

With constant modest improvement recently, the U.S. housing crash is said to be near the bottom. However, many economists hold that the market still needs years to recover entirely as the bottom will be prolonged.

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