The Market Composite Index, an overall measure of mortgage applications, fell from 594.6 to 554.1 on a seasonally adjusted -- and holiday-adjusted -- basis during the week ended Dec. 23, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.On an unadjusted basis, applications decreased 17.0% on the week but were up 3.1% from the level recorded a year earlier. The Purchase Index fell from 453.1 to 432.9 on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the Refinance Index declined from 1418.1 to 1259.1. The four-week moving average for the Purchase Index fell from 475.6 to 464.8, and the comparable average for the Refinance Index fell from 1485.2 to 1428.9. Refinancings represented 40.2% of total applications, down from 41.7% the previous week, while adjustable-rate mortgages accounted for 32.5%, the MBA said. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased from 6.22% to 6.21%, and points (including the origination fee) decreased from 1.19 to 1.18 for loans with 80% loan-to-value ratios, the association reported. The MBA can be found online at http://www.mortgagebankers.org.

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