The nationwide total of mortgage applications filed in the week ending January 26 slipped 12.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis over the previous week, according to the latest statistics from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This was largely due to a steep decline in the number of refinances sought by consumers, as this product makes up a significant portion of the overall mortgage market.
The MBA’s Refinance Index fell a seasonally adjusted 15.3 percent last week, reaching its lowest level since January 2010, the report said. This change dropped the four-week moving average 0.1 percent. Refinances also made up 70.3 percent of the total mortgage market, down from 73 percent the previous week.
Meanwhile, purchases declined a seasonally adjusted 8.7 percent, the report said. That was the lowest level seen since October. The four-week moving average for all purchase applications dipped 3.7 percent.
Consumers may have been less interested in obtaining a new mortgage during the week because nationwide home loan interest rates rose slightly. Recent increases from the all-time lows observed last summer already took a significant toll on refinance activity in the latter months of 2010, and that has continued into this year.