Industry News

Home loan apps plunge 19%

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Mortgage application volume last week posted the sharpest drop in recent years as interest rates continued higher, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The group's market composite index, a measure of home loan application volume, tumbled 19.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the first week of December. The last double-digit losses for the index were seen in December 2006 (down 14.3 percent) and June 2005 (down 11.3 percent.) MBA reported that the index that tracks refinancings tumbled 27.3 percent last week from just one week earlier, while the purchase-loan index fell 10.6 percent. As a result, the refinance share of applications fell to 53.2 percent last week from 57.6 percent one week earlier, while the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share actually rose during the period from 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent. Borrowing costs were up considerably for the second straight week, as the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages gained from 6.0...