Demand for purchase loans is down 35 percent from a month ago as homebuyers have yet to return to the market following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit at the end of April, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today.

In announcing the results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 4, the MBA said a seasonally adjusted index measuring demand for purchase mortgages was down 5.7 percent from the week before and 30.4 percent from a year ago.

Applications for refinancing were off 14.3 percent from the previous week. Requests for refinancing accounted for 72.2 percent of all loan applications, down from 73.8 percent the week before.

Although rates were essentially unchanged from the week before and near historic lows, many homeowners have already refinanced, while others may not qualify because they remain underwater on their mortgages, have uncertain job situations, or have damaged credit, said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.81 percent from 4.83 percent, with points decreasing to 1.02 from 1.05 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.26 percent from 4.24 percent, with points decreasing to 0.95 from 1.11 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 6.94 percent from 6.96 percent, with points increasing to 0.3 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

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