Mortgage Applications Get a Boost

The amount of home buyers applying for mortgages jumped to its highest level since the beginning of May.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending November 19.
The Purchase Index increased 14.4 percent from the previous week, which included Veterans Day. No adjustment was made for the holiday, so maybe the numbers are a little skewed, but let’s enjoy it anyway.
This is the highest the Purchase Index recorded since the week ending May 7.
“The increase in purchase applications last week aligns with other incoming data suggesting that consumers are feeling somewhat more confident with their financial situation,” said MBA’s Michael Fratantoni. “While the increase was magnified somewhat by the comparison to the holiday week, the level of purchase applications on a seasonally adjusted basis is now at its highest level since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.”
Applications to refinance, however, saw a drop, regardless of record-low interest rates. MBA reports that the Refinance Index decreased 1 percent to its lowest point since the end of June.
Hmm. Wonder why.
Well, I can tell you one reason. With home prices so low, a ridiculous amount of homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, so the banks won’t let them refinance.
Still, homeowners are managing. The mortgage delinquency rate fell in the third quarter to 9.13 percent, the lowest since the first quarter of 2009.
“For the first time during the housing downturn,” said Freddie Mac‘s Frank Nothaft, “the overall delinquency rate is lower than it was a year earlier.”