Wednesday, June 09, 2010

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications decline 35% over last four weeks

by Bill McBride on 6/09/2010 07:33:00 AM

The MBA reports: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

The Refinance Index decreased 14.3 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5.7 percent from one week earlier.
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“Purchase and refinance applications dropped this week, even after an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday. Purchase applications are now 35 percent below their level of four weeks ago, as homebuyers have not yet returned to the market following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit at the end of April,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Although rates remained essentially flat, refinance applications dropped this past week for the first time in a month. Despite the historically low rates, many homeowners have already refinanced recently, remain underwater on their mortgages, have uncertain job situations, or have damaged credit following this downturn, and therefore may not qualify to refinance.”
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The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.81 percent from 4.83 percent, with points decreasing to 1.02 from 1.05 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.
MBA Purchase Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the MBA Purchase Index and four week moving average since 1990.

The purchase index has collapsed following the expiration of the tax credit suggesting home sales will fall sharply too. This is the lowest level for the purchase index since February 1997.