Most media sources will report that mortgage applications posted their first increase in three weeks, according to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday, as mortgage rates fell slightly. The group’s weekly application survey found that applications rose 0.5 percent from one week earlier, with a composite index rising to 421.6 for the week ended Aug. 22. Applications are off 31.2 percent from year-ago levels, however, the MBA said.

But — as has been the case throughout the current cycle — the MBA data may be overstating forward demand for mortgages, given that the index data doesn’t correct for multiple applications.

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