The Housing Unrecovery: Mortgage Application Drought Continues

Tyler Durden's picture

The unaffordability-train rolls on in the US housing market. While it may destroy the housing-recovery-will-save-us meme (even as homebuilder stocks are the worst performing since the FOMC and many are sliding to 52-week lows), the facts are that a rising mortgage rate (now over 4.50% for the first time in 2 years) does reduce dramatically what the average household can afford to pay (given that people - unlike banks and governments - have limited incomes and balance sheets). Mortgage applications fell for the 8th week of the last 9 at the fastest year-over-year pace in 3 years and slumped to 2 year lows. This bodes extremely ill for home sales and the 'recovery' upon which it has already become dependent (as we noted here).

Worst Year-over-year change in 3 years...

 

which tends to front-run the shift in home sales... (inverted mortgage rates relative to a lagged home sales index).

 

and as a reminder... this DOES impact affordability - no matter how much your friendly local realtor or mortgage broker tries to explain still-generational-low mortgage rates - it's simply all about the marginal move...

 

Get back to work Mr. Bernanke...

 

Charts: Bloomberg