Mortgage Applications Decline for Third Consecutive Week

Even though mortgage rates eased slightly and remain near record lows, applications for home mortgages in the United States declined for the third consecutive week.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report for the week ending February 22, loan application volume fell 3.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index declined 3 percent. These figures include both refinancing and home purchase demand, and covers over 75 percent of all domestic retail residential mortgage applications.

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The industry group’s Refinance Index fell 3 percent from the prior week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dropped 5 percent to reach its lowest level since the week ending December 28. On an unadjusted basis, the Purchase Index declined 2 percent, but remains 14 percent higher than the same week a year earlier.

Overall, the refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged from the prior week at 77 percent of total applications, the lowest level since early July 2012.