Mortgage Applications Have Biggest May Collapse Since Financial Crisis

It seems that the recent rise in interest rates, instead of the typical (pre-depression) behavioral tendency to make people nervous and rush to lock in low rates, has once again stalled any hope of an organic housing recovery occurring. While the reams of hard data show that the housing recovery remains a fast-money investment-driven enigma (herehere, and here) – as opposed to real confidence-driven house-buying; we are still told day after day that housing is the backbone of the economy (despite construction jobs languishing and affordability plunging again). The fact of the matter is that the last 2 weeks have seen mortgage applications plunge at their fastest rate for this time of year (a typically busy time) since the financial crisis began. But that doesn’t matter because housing must be recovering because the homebuilder ETF is up 2% today…

January and February we saw the rate rises (blue line dropping) spark a renewed (more behaviorally normal) interest in locking in low rates and buying… but since then the relationshio has invferted once again as the Bernanke put on bonds has now found its way into the real world. The last 2 weeks have seen rates rise and mortgage apps plunge…

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