Mortgage Applications Decline at Year's End
The end of the year was not good for new mortgage business, according to two weekly application surveys. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) weekly survey of gross mortgage applications dropped 22.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending December 25, 2009. The following week ending January 1, 2010, the survey increased a scant 0.5%. Both weeks were adjusted to account for the holiday shortened weeks. Mortgage Maxx’s weekly survey of applications that’s adjusted to reflect the number of households that applied for mortgages took a 11.7% drop for the holiday-adjusted week ending January 1 compared to the previous week. The firm projects its survey to seasonally climb over the next few weeks. “However, given challenged employment, underwater mortgages, stricter credit qualifications, the MAX will at best retrace its levels of the past few months even given Fed sponsored generationally low mortgage rates,” Mortgage Maxx said. For the week ending December 25, the MBA said its refinance index dropped 30.5% from the previous week. The purchase index decreased 4% in the same period. Also in this week, refinance applications took a 69.6% share of the market The following week ending January 1, the refinance index decreased 1.6%, but the purchase index increased 3.6%. Refinance applications took a 68.2% share down from the previous week. Write to Austin Kilgore.