Prospective mortgage borrowers submitted 1.9% fewer applications in the week ending March 12, after a slight uptick the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) survey of gross mortgage application volume. At the same time, a separate survey of household applications climbed this week. The volume of applications submitted for home refinance slipped 1.7% from the previous week. MBA found that applications for refinance accounted for 67.3% of total applications this week, up slightly from 67.2% the previous week. The gross volume of applications submitted for home purchase dipped 2.3% from the previous week, MBA said. The share of applications for adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 4.6% of total applications this week, from 5.1% the previous week. The Mortgage Maxx survey, which adjusts gross volume to reflect the number of households participating in the application process, found application activity grew 4% in the same week. “Given the deflation in asset prices and at the extreme severely negative homeowners’ equity, the pool of willing and able mortgagors remains depleted,” Mortgage Maxx said in weekly commentary. “Unless there is some sort of mad dash in the closing weeks of the fed’s tax credit, the [mortgage application index] is probably reaching its terminal near-term velocity.” Write to Diana Golobay.

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