The holiday season is historically slow in the mortgage business, but this time around it was particularly quiet.
For the week ending January 2, 2015, total mortgage application volume was down 9.1 percent from two weeks earlier, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The reading included additional adjustments for both New Year's Day and Christmas Day, when banks were closed.
Applications to refinance existing mortgages decreased 12 percent from two weeks ago, according to the MBA, while mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 5 percent. December is the slowest month of the year in the housing market, but there is more weighing on sales than just a winter chill.
"Beyond the seasonal slowdown, purchase application volume remains about 8 percent below last year's level, indicating that homebuyers are still cautious," said the MBA's chief economist Mike Fratantoni.