Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications lowest since December 1996

by Bill McBride on 7/14/2010 07:46:00 AM

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

The Refinance Index decreased 2.9 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3.1 percent from one week earlier. This was the lowest Purchase Index observed in the survey since December 1996.
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The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.69 percent from 4.68 percent, with points increasing to 0.96 from 0.86 (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.

Mortgage applications have fallen off a cliff. The weekly applications index is at the lowest level since December 1996, and and the four week average is at the lowest level since September 1995 - almost 15 years ago. The four week average is off 35% since the mini-peak in April (the weekly index is off 44% since the end of April).

This collapse in the mortgage application index has already shown up as a decline in new home sales, and will show up in the July existing home sales report (counted at close of escrow).

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