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Mortgage applications were down for the fourth week in a row nationwide, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as interest rates and rising home prices continued to push many out of the market.

Mortgage applications of all types decreased 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier for the week ending July 22, the MBA said. As with much of the spring, week-on-week drops in refinance activity drove the decrease. The MBA’s refinance applications tracker showed a 4 percent drop over the prior week, while its purchase applications tracker only dropped 1 percent over the same period.

That put refinance applications at a level 83 percent below this same time last year, and purchase applications down 18 percent on the same basis.

“Mortgage applications declined for the fourth consecutive week to the lowest level of activity since February 2000. Increased economic uncertainty and prevalent affordability challenges are dissuading households from entering the market, leading to declining purchase activity that is close to lows last seen at the onset of the pandemic,” MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said in a statement. “Weakening purchase applications trends in recent months have been consistent with data showing a slowdown in sales for newly constructed homes and existing homes. A potential silver lining for the housing market is that stabilizing mortgage rates and increases in for-sale inventory may bring some buyers back to the market during the second half of the year.”

Mortgage Applications Down for Fourth Week in a Row

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min