A considerable decline in mortgage application activity was recorded by the Mortgage Bankers Association during the final two weeks of 2011, despite loan rates remaining just above historic lows.
According to the MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, home loan requests dropped nearly 4 percent during the week ending December 30 compared to the week ending December 16.
"Mortgage application activity declined over the last two weeks, even after adjusting for the typical seasonal decline in activity," said MBA vice president of research and economics Michael Fratantoni. "Refinance applications continue to account for the vast majority of total application volume, with the refinance share reaching its highest level in 2011."
Despite the poor end to the year for mortgage volume, real estate data in the report indicates the amount of home loan requests greatly surpassed - by 39 percent - the total during the same two-week period the year before.
Bob Moulton, president of the New York-based Americana Mortgage Group, told Reuters he expects prices to remain substantially affordable through 2012, due in part to the high foreclosure inventory.