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Why Are Mortgage Applications Declining?


According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data, mortgage loan application rates decreased from 7.1 percent in June to 6.7 percent, due to higher mortgage interest rates. However, application rates for mortgage refinancing rose from 7.5 percent in June to 9.2 percent. Overall, mortgage and mortgage refinance application rates remained low in 2018.

Respondents reported a 6.8 percent likelihood of applying for mortgage refinance applications over the next 12 months in 2018, compared to 8.2 percent in 2017. Based on consumers’ expectations, the report projected stability in future credit applications, with the exception of mortgage refinances. The report also noted the pessimism in respondents concerning future mortgage applications.

While the rate of borrower-initiated account closings did not change much between 2017-2018, lender-initiated closings recorded an increase in the past year. In October, 7.2 percent of respondents reported lender-initiated events, compared to 5.7 percent in October 2017 and 4.2 percent in October 2016—the highest rate reported since the start of the survey in October 2013, the report indicated.

The share of discouraged respondents, who are not likely to apply for credit went up to 5.9 percent in October, from 5.7 percent in June over the past 12 months. The number of granted credits increased from 33.6 percent in June to 37.7 percent, which is lower than the recorded 41.3 percent in October 2017.

Credit rejection rates surged to 10.2 percent in October, from 9.4 percent in June, and 7.6 percent in February. Respondents who report they are likely to apply for at least one type of credit over the next 12 months increased from 26.5 percent in June to 27.5 percent in October, the report revealed.

Though credit application rates increased from 43 percent in June to 47.8 percent, it remained below the October 2017 reading of 49 percent. The slight decrease in rejection rates to 21.2 percent from 21.9 percent in June, sits well above the October 2017 reading of 15.7 percent. The current year reflected a higher rate of rejection among respondents aged 40 and below.

Read the full report here.

by Donna Joseph (via

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