Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mortgage applications and auto sales plunge

According to CNN Money, the freezing of the credit markets has resulted in a plunge in mortgage applications:
In yet another sign of the economic crisis, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that mortgage applications plunged 23% last week.

The MBA said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity dropped to 455.4 in the week ended Sept. 26, down from 591.4 the prior week.

Turmoil in the banking and finance industries has resulted in a credit freeze, making it difficult for prospective homeowners to take out loans. The market is also experiencing a glut of foreclosures. ...

The association also reported steep declines in other weekly indexes tracking housing finance.

The refinance index plummeted 34.7% to 1333.9 from the prior week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index fell 10.9% to 304.8.
The credit freeze has also had an adverse effect on auto sales:
Sales at the nation's top automakers fell sharply in September, as tighter credit for buyers and dealers combined with high fuel prices to curtail demand for cars and trucks.

The sales declines were broad based, with Japanese automakers reporting the same kind of double-digit declines that hit U.S. brands earlier this year when the record gasoline prices sent buyers scurrying from SUVs and pickups to more fuel efficient car models.

This time it was the credit crisis, not just gas prices, that cut into sales. Many buyers were unable to get the credit they needed to buy a car and a growing number of dealers saw their own credit cut off, causing widespread failures.

Add to that general nervousness about the economy and the industry was poised to sell fewer than a million cars in the United States for the first time since 1993. And auto executives say they don't think they've seen the bottom yet.


  1. Unfortunately neither item is all that surprising. People don't want to commit to paying back a loan when there's so much uncertainty.

  2. the Bay Area, foreclosure resales made up 36.1 percent of all resales last month, up from 33.3 percent in July and 4.4 percent a year ago. The figure represents the percentage of homes resold in August that had been foreclosed on at some point in the prior 12 months.At the county level, foreclosure resales ranged from 8.6 percent of resales in San Francisco to 61.3 percent in Solano County
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  3. Some of what I don't get revolves around the fact that even with tight credit markets, there's plenty of mortgages available. Believe it or not, with a 680 credit score, 100% is still available. What we are seeing is that those that should not have been able to get a mortgage in the first place can't get one now.