Daily Market Update 8/18/10

Mortgage rates were little changed Wednesday in quiet trading. The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly purchase activity index fell by 3%, while the refinancing activity index rose by 17% to the highest level in 15 months. Average reported rates for the week rose to 4.60% from 4.57%. Bankrate reported that average closing costs rose 36.6% over the past year. Increased government regulation and reduced competition are the likely culprits. Yesterday, during opening statements at the housing-finance conference to discuss the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner voiced support for a continued government role in the guarantee of home mortgages. The Obama Administration plans to unveil a detailed proposal in January 2011. No economic data will be released today.

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