Mortgage applications fell almost 4% for the holiday week ending December 30, according to new figures compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The decline is calculated on a sequential basis.

However, refinancings continued to dominate the new business landscape, accounting for 81.9% of applications, a yearly high for 2011.

"Mortgage application activity declined over the last two weeks, even after adjusting for the typical seasonal decline in activity,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics.

Fratantoni noted that a new 10 basis point increase in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in guarantee fees likely won't show up in the application numbers until the end of February. 

Although applications fell on a weekly basis, new business during the last two weeks of the year rose 39% compared to the same period in 2010, according to the trade group's Market Composite Index.

MBA said that on average, for the week, consumers were being offered 30-year fixed rate loans at 4.07% with 53 basis points.

The survey covers over 75% percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications. Respondents to MBA include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.

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