As rates dropped below 5 percent over the first two months of the year mortgage refinance volume increased and purchase volume remained unchanged. In its market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA) reported refinance volume increasing 1.8 percent over the previous month and purchase loan volume decreasing 2.7 percent over the same period.

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Sales of new single-family homes in January 2010 fell by 11.2 percent, since December 2009 according to a report released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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The S&P Case-Shiller Index showed a 2.5 percent decline in home value over the fourth quarter of 2009 versus the same period in 2008. While the index remains negative, the numbers are seen as an improvement over the intense declines experienced over the first three quarters of 2009, each in the double digits.

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