Wednesday, December 28, 2005

US Mortgages Application at 3 Year Low

Bloomberg Reports that 'U.S. Mortgage Applications Decline to a 3-Year Low':

The number of mortgage applications filed last week fell to the lowest level in more than three years, more evidence the U.S. housing market is stumbling.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's index of applications to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage declined 6.8 percent to 554.1 last week, from 594.6 a week earlier. The gauge is the lowest since 554.9 in the week ended June 7, 2002.

Higher mortgage rates are limiting both housing demand and the desire to refinance existing loans, a source of cash for consumers during the past few years. Home sales are forecast to decline in 2006 after a record this year, which economists said will provide less fuel for the economy.

Ouch. The mounting evidence is rapidly turning greed into fear. The Lereah's of this world are changing their tune. One more nail in the coffin.


  1. I know the rates have gone up, but I imagine they will dip a little one of these days. Which begs the question- can somebody who is refinancing over the next couple of weeks actually get a good deal on the points? I know rates are hire, but some of us might want to move from ARMs to fixed, and I was wondering when the timing might be best (Note: I know I missed out over the past couple of months, but I'm looking forward). Thanks.

  2. "Dip a little one of these days?" How much do you think they might dip?

    If you are in an ARM, and you want to "fix it," just do it. It'll take weeks for the bank to draw up the paperwork for your signature - if rates drop in the meantime, you can probably re-negotiate, especially if you're using a respectable lender (like NOT Ameriquest, Countrywide or any of those bottom-feeders).

    Remember, when your mortgage rate is fixed, it is fixed, forever. If rates go up, lender eats it. If rates go down, you can refi and lock it in even lower, if you choose. Cover your *ss there, partner!

  3. Anonymous -- IMO, the best timing for switching from ARM to fixed was yesterday. The next-best is today.

  4. Very succinct, Chip. Well said.