Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mortgage Applications Continue to Downward Trend

Bloomberg reports 'U.S. MBA's Mortgage Applications Index Fell 6% Last Week'
Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell last week by the most since February as higher borrowing costs damped home purchases and refinancing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's index of applications to buy a home or refinance an existing loan dropped 6 percent to 552.6 from 588 the prior week. The gauge of purchases fell 7.1 percent, also the biggest decline in three months, to 396.4.

Yet more evidence of a declining market. The mortgage index will continue to fall in the coming months,


  1. May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Sales of new homes in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in April to the highest this year, even as inventories of unsold dwellings climbed to a record.

    Sales increased 4.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.198 million from a revised 1.142 million in March that was lower than previously reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. There were 565,000 homes for sale at the end of April, the most ever.

  2. weird... i was gonna post the same thing

    Sales of New Homes Jumped Unexpectedly

    i guess my point is that, although i like this blog and i'm on board with the whole "bubble" theory... i think that it's an obvious weakness in your blog that you ignore all kinds of contradictory indicators and only focus on evidence that supports your viewpoint... the "trolls" in here are probably not all bitter realtors... in fact, some of them may have a point... you would be wise to have a more balanced approach to covering this issue... it's obvious that real estate prices are inflated and there has been a lot of speculation and shady lending going on... the question is "what's next?"... if the bubble bursts, so be it... but you can't ignore information that may not jive with your blog

  3. I am planning on posting about the April Sales. I do HAVE a fulltime job.

  4. Do the numbers include cancelled contracts that were booked as sales previously? Why do they not use sales which actually closed instead of just sales?

    I wonder how many of these new sales were sold before, had the deal fall through (and the deposit forfieted) and then booked again as a sale?

  5. I think you could also say that a decline in mortgage applications is merely evidence of higher interest rates. The applications include those who are refinancing as well as those who buying a home. I'd imagine that the number of people who could benefit from refinancing is very low these days, as rates have been lower than they are now for two or three years. So from just the raw number of applications we can't tell if that represents fewer purchasers, fewer refinancers, or a combination of both.

  6. Anon 9:50

    "But, as David has pointed out, he has no interest in being objective since this entire blog is premised upon a the presumption of a bursting bubble."

    Housing developments with alot of empty units.
    Price slashing and give-aways.
    Increased time that houses are on the market.

    Any objective person would come to the conclusions that the bubble is either deflating or bursting.

    Do you have any FACTS that show that housing prices will continue an upward trend?

    As for objectivity David did show YOY charts that were contrary to his premises. Soon YOY charts will support his premises.

  7. That sort of "objectivity" reminds me of the Stephen Colbert line about Bush at the recent White House Correspondents' Dinner. He said something to the effect that Bush believes one thing on Monday and he still believes it on Wednesday, no matter what all the contrary evidence says on Tuesday.

  8. David's just trying to get quoted in the Washington Post Express again

  9. "David's just trying to get quoted in the Washington Post Express again"

    Good one!

  10. Had the numbers for March not been adjusted sharply downward, the April numbers would represent a decline rather than a rise. Prices are definitely down, and inventory is up.

    What part of this doesn't indicate a bursting bubble?

  11. Not sure why Anon 9:50 got deleted. He made a very accurate observation that the entire purpose of this blog is based on the premise of there being a housing bubble. If David will delete anyone who criticizes his conclusions as being the result of his outlook, then it's his blog and he can cry if he wants to. But there's a big difference between personal attacks and pointing out that one's premise is biased or inaccurate.

  12. Look,

    The fundamentals all point to a downturn.

    Are builders discounting/offering "upgrades/freebies"? Yes!
    Are a few *smart* sellers discounting? Yes!

    This is the expected start of the "dead cat bounce." I expect June to be an even better month. I'll worry a little if inventory does go down...

    But its not going down anywhere.
    Loan quality is amazing poor. Who the heck is borrowing at 41% of income *knowing* that their payments will spike 40% in two years? Please... tell me a way they can get out at a profit!

    We're down to the last few buyers who can qualify in this market!

    Now, there is still a lot of forign money coming into the housing system. How much and from where I can only speculate. But once there is a sharp drop in prices *anywhere* that money pulls out and quick. Maybe its only 1% of the market... maybe its 5%... Either way it has an impact.

    And once YOY prices do start dropping... stand back and watch the floodwaters find their way downhill.

    And please, post contradictory information. Just because I believe we're in a bubble doesn't make it so. Let's find out as many facts as possible.


  13. ""Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell last week by the most since February as higher borrowing costs damped home purchases and refinancing."

    OK,OK, someone explain this to me. Mortgage applications are the lowest since February, but home sales are up 4.9%(+/-11.5%)? So, the 4.9% (+/-11.5%) increase comes from buyers paying with cash?

    Hummm, you’d think that with the Fannie Mae debacle, someone would try to get the data to correspond.