Apparently the MBAss (Mortgage Bankers Association) didn’t like the fact that someone in the financial blogo-wackosphere actually had the temerity to make use of real, hard data, that they hadn’t massaged. Now, not only do they not report the actual index level of their seasonally smoothed applications indexes, the charts of the not seasonally adjusted indexes have disappeared from Bloomberg.com in the past week. I doubt that Bloomberg would have pulled them on their own. Seems more likely that the MBAss wasn’t too happy about anyone actually reporting the truth. So unless Bloomberg relents or I can find the data elsewhere, it looks like last week’s report will be the last time we get to see what the actual purchase applications look like.
For now, I’ll return to looking at the seasonally smoothed data which, while not the actual numbers, should give us an idea of the trend. The MBAss stopped reporting the actual index levels about a year ago, but they still report the weekly percentage changes, so it is possible to reproduce a close approximation of their index.
Of course, if the news gets bad enough, like if purchase apps drop to new lows, they can always stop publicizing the data altogether. These are after all, the very same people who brought us the housing crisis in the first place. Things like fudging, lying, cheating, stealing, and committing fraud are part of their natural order. Getting the truth out–not so much. In fact, before joining the organization a prospective member needs to pass a sociopathy test.
Chart Removed by Demand of Mortgage Bankers Association
The seasonally adjusted mortgage purchase applications graph broke a long term downtrend line this week, but it remains below the one year moving average, which is flat. While the trend of purchase applications has apparently stopped weakening, it hasn’t turned up. Comparing the week ended November 4 with the same week last year, applications are down 2.9%. They remain down over 65% from the May 2005 peak. Furthermore, taking into account the 18% of deals that the NAR is reporting have recently been falling through, versus 9% a year ago, and an increase in cash deals of about 1% since last year, effectively purchases are down by around 11%.
That’s not the news the housing industry wants to hear, and certainly not news it wants potential market participants to hear. So organizations like the MBAss do their best to hide it, because it’s the truth, and from their perspective, you can’t handle it. ___________________________________________
I just posted the housing market update for subscribers to the Professional Edition yesterday. That report includes all of the relevant housing market data from the past month. Get regular updates on the US housing market, and stay up to date with the machinations of the Fed, Treasury, Primary Dealers and foreign central banks in the US market, in the Fed Report in the Professional Edition, Money Liquidity, and Real Estate Package. Try it risk free for 30 days. Don’t miss another day. Get the research and analysis you need to understand these critical forces. Be prepared. Stay ahead of the herd. Click this link and begin your risk free trial NOW!
Follow @Lee_Adler on Twitter!