The Market Composite Index, an overall measure of mortgage applications, fell to 649.6 on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended Oct. 24 from 652.8 the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.On an unadjusted basis, applications were up 10.4% on the week and down 29.2% from a year earlier. The Purchase Index decreased from 386.1 to 363.9 on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the Refinance Index rose from 2204.1 to 2311.8. Refinancings represented 53.3% of total applications, up from 50.5% the previous week, while adjustable-rate mortgages accounted for 26.5%. "The ARM share of applications is at its highest point in over two-and-a-half years," said Michael Cevarr, the MBA's manager of member surveys. "With little expectation of an increase in short-term rates in the near term, borrowers are reacting to the continued large spread between adjustable and fixed rates." The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from 5.97% to 5.83%, and points (including the origination fee) were unchanged at 1.39 for loans with 80% loan-to-value ratios, the MBA reported. The MBA can be found online at http://www.mbaa.org.

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