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New Activity Edges Higher as Rates Slip

Business was a little better this week as interest rates retreated.

At 203 for the week ended Friday, the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortech Inc. and was higher than 198 a week earlier.

But the index has tumbled from 242 during the same week in 2010.

Purchase inquiries, refinance activity and adjustable-rate mortgage business were all higher this week. But new inquiries for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration were unchanged.

Helping to push new business higher were mortgage rates, with the 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgage priced at an average 4.94 percent this week, down 5 basis points from last week. A year prior, the 30-year averaged 5.109 percent.

The difference between the rate on conforming loans and jumbo mortgages worsened to 60 BPS this week from 57 BPS in last week’s report.

The spread between the 15-year mortgage and the 30-year mortgage was unchanged at 79 BPS.

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