Mortgage Apps Fall as Interest Rises

OriginationNews states according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), mortgage applications for the week ending March 16 fell 7.4 percent. The refinance share fell to 73.4 percent, the lowest reading since July, 2011, both attributable to the rise in the interest rate. Says MBA chief economist Jay Brinkmann, “With rate/term refinances falling as we go forward, HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) will be a bigger percentage of refinances but will be more concentrated in certain states.” States where the foreclosure rates and underwater loans are among the highest saw the largest increase in refinance applications January to February, 2012: Nevada saw a 71 percent rise; Arizona was up 61 percent; and Florida saw the rate rise 49 percent. Brinkmann says, “Refinances in the rest of the country were generally flat or even down.”

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