The Market Composite Index, an overall measure of mortgage applications, fell from 685.1 to 601.6 on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended Dec. 5 as the Refinance Index fell to its lowest level in 18 months, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.On an unadjusted basis, applications dropped 22.3% on the week and were down 33.6% from the level of a year earlier. The Purchase Index fell from 441.8 to 399.8 on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the Refinance Index dropped from 2100.0 to 1775.5, its lowest level since June 2002. Refinancings represented 49.4% of total applications, down from 50.0% the previous week, while adjustable-rate mortgages accounted for 29.3%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from 5.93% to 5.76%, and points (including the origination fee) declined from 1.45 to 1.38 for loans with 80% loan-to-value ratios, the MBA reported. The MBA can be found online at http://www.mortgagebankers.org.

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