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The Dead Mortgage Cat Bounce Is Over

While earlier today the MBA came out with some absolutely ridiculous numbers namely that there was a 49.1% surge in mortgage applications in the week ended January 9, this was, as Stone McCarthy reported, due largely to seasonals. To wit: "The MBA's broad mortgage application index soared 49.1% last week. While we think much of the increase is a response to lower mortgage rates, we also think the application data are still subject to some holiday-related noise."

So what is really going on with that all important metric for the US housing market: mortgage originations? For the answer we go to the biggest mortgage originating bank in the US itself, Wells Fargo.

Here is the answer:

After dropping to a record low $36 billion in the first quarter, mortgage originations at the biggest mortgage lender jumped.... and are now back on a declining slope. In fact, the Q4 mortgage data was the second worst ever.

But that's in the past right. Surely there is much optimism for the future? Actually no:

  • WELLS FARGO & CO EXPECTS Q1 2015 MORTGAGE VOLUME TO BE SIMILAR TO Q4 2014: CFO

Oh well, at least Russian billionaires will continue buying New York penthouses sight unseen for the foreseeable future. Wait, what's that... Oh.

Never mind.