Mortgage Applications Fall 6% on Weaker Refinance Interest: MBA

Applications for both purchase and refinance mortgages slipped, combined falling almost 6% in the week ending June 18, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Much of the decline was driven by waning refinance interest. A separate survey found household activity in the mortgage application process actually increased slightly in the same week. The MBA found that the volume of refinance mortgage applications fell 7.3% this week, bringing the refinance share of application activity down a percentage point to 73.8% this week, from 74.8% last week. At the same time, applications for purchase mortgages fell 1.2%, driven by a 4.4% decrease in requests for government-insured loans through programs like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). All told, the total volume of applications fell 5.9% this week, MBA said. The Mortgage Maxx index, which adjusts data to reflect the number of households applying for a mortgage, found 0.1% more households submitted applications than the week before. Maxx publisher Paul Descloux, in weekly commentary, noted the index could decline in coming weeks following the homebuyer tax credit expiration. “Aggravated by truncated tax subsidies, mortgage originations fail to accelerate despite record low available rates,” he said. “There is little visible on the economic horizon to stimulate housing and mortgagor demand remains extremely compromised… .” Write to Diana Golobay.

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