Mortgage Applications Plunge to Near Seven-Month Low

Wonder how this data will impact our profession?

Mortgage Applications Plunge to Near Seven-Month Low
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NEW YORK–U.S. mortgage applications fell for a fourth consecutive week, with overall demand plunging to its lowest level in nearly seven months, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, for the week ended June 12 decreased 15.8% to 514.4, the lowest since the week ended November 21, 2008.

A rise in mortgage rates in recent weeks had sapped demand, particularly for home loan refinancing, but the direction of rates reversed course last week.

Cameron Findlay, chief economist at based in Charlotte, North Carolina, said borrowers who are considering refinancing their current mortgage are now reevaluating their decision, given the swift and sharp rise in mortgage rates over the past few weeks.

“When rates move in volatile swings like this, it is critical (that) borrowers look for competitive rates – competition in this environment keeps mortgage companies honest,” he said.

Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, excluding fees, averaged 5.50%, down 0.07 percentage point from the previous week, but significantly higher than the all-time low of 4.61% set in the week ended March 27. The survey has been conducted weekly since 1990.

Interest rates, however, were well below year-ago levels of 6.57%.

Thirty-year mortgage rates had mostly been on a downward trend since the Fed unveiled its plan to buy mortgage-backed debt in late November. But the Fed has recently met resistance in the bond market.

Treasury yields, which are linked to mortgage rates, rose sharply earlier this month, with mortgage rates responding in kind. Treasury yields have come down recently, allowing rates to fall.

The plunge in demand for home loans may help gauge how the hard-hit U.S. housing market is faring this spring, the peak home buying season.
The MBA’s seasonally adjusted purchase index fell 3.5% to 261.2.

The four-week moving average of mortgage applications, which smoothes the volatile weekly figures, was down 13.5%.

That’s odd. At the same time, CA home prices are going up.

Guess Real Estate is local. :mrgreen:

Ahh! Perhaps that’s because the defaults are now affecting higher prices properties than before.

Statistics are often massaged for effect.:shock:

You forgot to blame the Democrats for this. ;-):stuck_out_tongue:

In my market I have noticed a large percentage of cash buyers, this current trend may allow for both higher prices and fewer loan applications but I doubt the trend is sustainable.

You know you’re right. :mrgreen:

Look up Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

CA, properties are going up because the inventory has dropped and the banks are not releasing so many REO’s like they where also CA. has a 90 day Foreclosure Moratorium.