What Do Plunging Mortgage Applications Mean?

It could mean less demand in the housing market. The Mortgage Bankers Association released the results of its weekly mortgage applications survey yesterday. While the weekly number for purchase mortgages was up slightly, the 4-week moving average was down and now stands more than 20 percent below its peaks last year. The refinance index is down by more than 50 percent. (The survey covers approximately 50 of mortgage originations.)

Remarkably, this important and timely data on the housing market appear to have been ignored in the NYT, WSJ, and Washington Post.

--Dean Baker

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