Mortgage Applications Dip

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday that requests for US home loans declined for a second straight week as refinancing demand continued to fall. The group’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which counts the number of Americans looking to refinance or purchase, fell 9.6 percent for the week ended August 26th. The decline included a 12.6 percent dip in requests for refinancing loans, which was partially offset by a 0.9 percent increase in home purchase applications.

The increase in purchase loan activity followed a decline in the previous week that saw the gauge reach its lowest level in 15 years. Despite interest rates very near record-low levels, refinance activity is in decline because of uncertainty about the economy, while conditions are such that Americans are simply unwilling to take the major investment step of buying a home.

The refinance portion of total mortgage applications accounted for 77.8 percent of all applications a week ago, down from a 79.8 percent share the week before. The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage during the week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, was 4.32 percent, down from 4.39 percent in the prior week.The average price per square foot for homes in the Belvedere / Tiburon area of Marin County, California is about $610, up about 3.5% from a year ago. The median sales price for homes sold over the last two months was just over $1.4 million based on 47 homes sold. Compared to the same time frame a year ago, the median sales price is down just over 3%. In the week ended May 23rd, the average listing price for homes on the market in Belvedere / Tiburon was just under $3.9 million, up about 2% from the week before.