The number of mortgage applications in the U.S. dropped 1.5 percent in the week ended May 14, The Mortgage Bankers Association [MBA] said today. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 3.1 percent compared with the previous week.
“Purchase applications plummeted 27 percent last week [the lowest level since May 1997] and have declined almost 20 percent over the past month, despite relatively low interest rates. The data continue to suggest that the tax credit pulled sales into April at the expense of the remainder of the spring buying season. In fact, this drop occurred even as rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages continued to fall, and at 4.83 percent are at their lowest level since November 2009,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s VP of Research and Economics. “However, refinance borrowers did react to these lower rates, with refi applications up almost 15 percent, hitting their highest level in nine weeks.” – MBA