Interest Rate Roundup

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

MBA data shows home purchases falling again

The Mortgage Bankers Association puts out a weekly index measuring home loan activity. It has two components -- refinance activity and purchase activity. I focus on the purchase numbers, because they provide the most up-to-date snapshot of home buying activity.
As you can see in this chart from Bloomberg, things aren't looking so hot. Purchase demand has fallen in five out of the past seven weeks. The index is now sitting at 381.4, its lowest level since the week of October 27. We set a cycle low that week of 375.6.
Could bad weather account for some of the most recent week's decline? Maybe. But the broader trend evident in these seasonally adjusted numbers is one of weakness -- demand just isn't what it used to be and will likely remain relatively weak for some time to come.


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