Mortgage activity tumbles
-- December 10, 2003

Super-low interest rates have been around for a while -- but that's sure not putting any spice back into mortgage activity. In fact, an index of mortgage application activity plunged 12.2% last week to 601.6 -- its lowest level since June 14, 2002!

As this chart clearly shows, the trend in mortgage application activity is negative: Mortgage activity now stands at 68% below its May peak -- and 30% below its year-ago level, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

But that's not all: The refinancing component of the index took a whopping 15% hit last week - and that's on top of the nearly 20% tumble it took the week before. With refinancing activity one of the biggest drivers behind consumer spending, the decline in the refi index is ominous indeed.

related article:
Mortgage Requests Fall Near 18-Month Low