Mortgage application activity was essentially flat in the week ending Feb. 24 as an increase in purchase activity was offset by a slight decline in refinancing activity.The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported the Purchase Index jumped 8.2% to 175.The Refinance Index declined 2.2% to ~4225 with the share of refinancing applications as a percent of total applications falling to 77.9% from 80.1%. This is the lowest share since the beginning of December 2011.

"Mortgage rates remained near survey lows last week, but refinance volume fell slightly," said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at the MBA. There was likely some influence from Presidents' Day, although there was a seasonal adjustment made for the holiday.

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