WASHINGTON - Nationwide application rates for home purchase and refinance loans dipped 1.4% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America's weekly survey found.

The market composite index of mortgage applications slipped to 650.8 for the week that ended March 30, from 659.9. The seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 0.8%, to 294, and the seasonally adjusted refinance index dropped 2.7%, to 2726.1.

Some 58.8% of the applications were for refinances, down from 59.5% the previous week, while 10.2% were for adjustable-rate mortgages, up from 9.3%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 6.99%, up 15 basis points from the previous week, and the points for such loans with 80% loan-to-value ratios decreased 8.3%, to 1.21.

The average interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages dropped 2 basis points, to 5.99%.

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