Home mortgage applications fall to 15-year low

Friday, August 19, 2011, Vol. 35, No. 33

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell last week to a 15-year low, despite the lowest mortgage rates in decades. Many potential buyers are holding off because they are worried about job security and fear the economy could slip back into another recession.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says mortgage applications, which are adjusted for seasonal factors, fell 2.4 percent last week from the previous week. Home mortgage applications plunged 5.7 percent to its lowest level since December 1996.

"Another week of volatile markets and rampant uncertainty regarding the economy kept prospective homebuyers on the sidelines," said Mike Fratantoni, the trade group's vice president of research and economics.

The weekly survey covers more than half of all U.S. residential mortgage applications.