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Mortgage rates inch down to 3.91 percent

The average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage declined 1 basis point to 3.91 percent since last week while the purchase application volume increased 3.4 percent and the refinance application increased 1.3 percent over the same period.

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This chart shows the average interest rates of 15-and 30-year fixed rate mortgages over the past five years. Since peaking at the height of the housing bubble, rates have declined steadily and are now consistently averaging under 4 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications.

The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases.

The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) declined 1 basis point to 3.91% since last week while the purchase application volume increased 3.4% and the refinance application increased 1.3% over the same period.

The following chart shows the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages since 2006 as well as the purchase, refinance and composite loan volumes (click for larger dynamic full-screen version).

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