WASHINGTON - Nationwide application rates for home purchase and refinance loans dipped 2.7% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America weekly survey, released Wednesday.

The market composite index of mortgage applications slipped to 562.6 for the week that ended Feb. 23, from 578.2 the previous week.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 6.2%, to 291.4, and the seasonally adjusted refinance index dropped 8.8%, to 2140.4.

Some 53.2% of total applications were for refinances, down from 57.7% the previous week, while 9.4% were for adjustable-rate mortgages, up from 8.8% the week before.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 7.04%, down from 7.09% the previous week, and points for such loans with 80% loan-to-value ratios rose to 1.29 from 1.26.

The average contract interest rate for 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages was 6.23%, down from 6.49% the previous week, while points for such loans with 80% LTV ratios increased 3 basis points, to 1.39 from 1.36 the previous week.

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