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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 23, 2005)�The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 18. The Market Composite Index - a measure of mortgage loan application volume - was 658.8, an decrease of 9.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 727.6 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 9.2 percent compared with last week but was down 39.3 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.
The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 3.5 percent to 446.4 from 462.8 the previous week whereas the seasonally adjusted Refinance Index decreased by 16.5 percent to 1894.4 from 2267.5 one week earlier.
"The increase in mortgage rates has reduced application activity across the board, particularly for refinances. Refinance applications are down more than 60 percent relative to this time last year," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's senior director of single family research and economics.
Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which decreased 9.7 percent to 981.5 from 1087.2 the previous week. The Government Index decreased 5.7 percent to 120.2 from 127.5 the previous week.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 39.5 percent of total applications from 42.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 33.5 percent of total applications from 32.4 percent the previous week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.95 percent from 5.91 percent one week earlier, with points decreasing to 1.22 from 1.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.49 percent from 5.47 percent one week earlier, with points increasing to 1.26 from 1.24 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.
The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 4.12 percent from 4.19 percent one week earlier, with points increasing to 1.07 from 1.00 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.
$10.35 to be exact on June 1, 2002. What is so unbelievable about that? Yes, BZH is a solid stock and you would think that too if you weren't on the catastrophic shorts bandwagon. At $6 base I have a long breath with this baby. Selling stock at every little movement and you will never have anything to sell when the stock is riding high. I bought lots of stock after 9/11 and sold none. I am not regretting that. The oil stocks I bought are paying me handsome dividends on top of it. Your collegues told me then I was crazy buying oil stocks when the West Texas Intermediate was trading at $10/BBL wellhead. I continue to disagree with your buddies. How much did you loose shorting everything left and right over the past 5 years? Its not that I don't like shorts. They sow just enough panick to send INVESTORS an easy windfall down and then. Thanks for that.
You gotta really laugh at someone who claims to have bought TYC at $10, and in the same breath saiys BZH is a bargain at $45.
The world is full or liars...and idiots.
"I happily buy shares from the panic crowd at rock bottom prices."
Me too, but I am short this sector. These prices are sky high, not rock bottom. I see short term value in these shares in the high 20's. Long term I will accumulate when they go under 10 dollars, under 5 dollars and this stock is a screaming buy to me!
There is always the possibility of losing but the odds and history are so strongly against it that I am not overly concerned. It's not money I need tomorrow, or even next year. If these companies go under it would pretty much mean either World War 3 has broken out or a worldwide plague has struck. Either way I'll either be dead or living north of the Arctic Circle far from society. :)
To the guy who says good luck with GM, one could pretty much say that about all the great comeback stories when the companies were in trouble. GM could go under but that would cause another Great Depression as millions of americans work either for the company or for companies designing/supplying parts to it. The government won't let GM go belly up because of the consequences.
Read again. The serious applications are up. In some parts of the US, such as in my neck of the woods, the majority of houses are sold for cold cash. Bought one myself that way in February. Housing remains very strong mainly because the supply side is so weak compared to the demand. Prices will continue to go up until BZH etc manage to crank out more units. Housing is the place to put your money if you want to turn a profit.
You're right and wrong. Some areas are tight markets. Others have hugh inventory on the market. As interest rates increase--buyers will find it harder to qualify. The interest only guys of the past year are going to either dump or default if pay raises don't come through. If Greenspan bumps the rate up .50 basis points in the summer sometime--those Libor rates are going to stun the interest only guys. My Advice: Stay sharp 2nd half of the year.
Why would anyone buy a house for cash in the last few years when money was so cheap? You could take out a mortgage and write off the interest on your taxes. Then you take the money you didn't use and buy stock in solid companies with high dividends near their 52 week lows, and wait. You actually make money by borrowing, which is the best reason to borrow.
People educated enough to buy substantial homes know this and are VERY unlikely to buy using cash.
Only reason I can see to have used cash is if your credit rating stinks and you can't get a decent rate.