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Mortgage applications fall for sixth week

Nearing the midway point of the year, an unsettling trend is emerging in the mortgage market: Loan applications keep falling.

For the sixth straight week, overall applications for single-family loans declined even as mortgage rates fell slightly, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

For the week ending May 11, MBA’s adjusted applications index decreased by 2.7 percent compared to the prior week. The refinance index fell by 4 percent, while the adjusted purchase index dropped by 2 percent.

The refinance share fell 40 basis points to 35.9 percent of total applications, the lowest level since August 2008.

The 30-year fixed-rate with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased one basis point to 4.77 percent. Generally, though, mortgage rates have been moving up in recent weeks.

“The combination of higher rates and tough buyers’ market are taking a toll on application volume,” said Brian Surgener, senior vice president for strategy and analytics at BBMC Mortgage.

“Volatility in the rates is traditionally good for the market as it will push people off the fence, but with the frustrations [over the lack of homes for sale] we may continue to see purchase applications drop and there is no doubt refinance applications are going to continue to grind down,” he said. 


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