Market Composite Index: (loan application volume) decreased 22.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the prior week.
Refinance Index: decreased 30.5 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4.0 percent from one week earlier. The following week, the Refinance Index decreased 1.6 percent and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3.6 percent.
Purchase Index: decreased 33.1 percent the week of Christmas and increased 5.0 percent the week following. This measure was 26.2 percent and 28.2 percent lower, respectively, than the same period a year ago.
Refinance Share of Mortgage Activity: mortgage activity for the week ending January 1, 2010 is 68.2 percent, a decrease from 69.6 percent for the week ending December 25, 2009.
MBA outlook: (Excerpted from mbaa.org)
In summary the MBAA sees another year of high employment, rising home sales and prices beginning to stabilize. But continued weakness in the job market and excess supply and shadow inventory will slow any recovery in the housing market.
The MBAA sees unemployment rate at about 10% at the end of 2010, and core inflation rates of below 2%. Fed rate is expected to remain at its current level throughout 2010.
But, property values will not recover until unsold inventory returns to normal levels. Affordability is at record levels, yet there is no strong indication that the demand recovering. People do not yet seem to trust the recovery and many do not have the necessary down payment or can clear tighter loan qualifications
The MBAA site economic report indicates a fragile recovery, but makes note that without credit the recovery remains tepid at best. The site makes note: Smaller businesses and consumers are heavily dependent on banks for obtaining credit, and there is little evidence that, as yet, banks have loosened the purse strings.
Bank loans to businesses and consumers are still falling with few signs of stopping or slowing down. Part of the decline is declining demand, but the fall is too large to be explained by weakness in demand alone. The banks are simply not yet stepping up to fill the vacuum.
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