Freddie Mac reported 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 4.80% compared with 4.82% last week and is within two basis points of its historic low, while 15-year fixed were unchanged at 4.48%.

On the adjustable side, five-year hybrid ARM rates declined to 4.85% from 4.88% and one-year ARM rates fell nine basis points to 4.82%.

Despite the historic level of mortgage rates, application activity is expected to have a limited response relative to the rate level.

For the week ending April 17, the MBA reported an 8% increase in the Refinance Index to 6541, while the Purchase Index slid 4% to 253 despite a five basis point improvement in 30-year fixed mortgage rates that week to 4.82%.

In a report from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW), analysts are forecasting refinance volume to be about 36% lower than in 2003 at $1.8 trillion, while purchase volume is expected to be nearly 50% lower at $584 billion.

Overall, mortgage origination volume is projected to be nearly 40% lower at an estimated $2.4 trillion in 2009 compared to $3.9 trillion in 2003.

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