While mortgage loan application volume in the U.S. inched up 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis over the past week overall, driven by a 4 percent increase in the volume of applications to refinance, purchase mortgage activity ticked down another one (1) percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, down two (2) percent in the absolute, and was down 19 percent versus the same time last year despite higher inventory levels and the benchmark mortgage rate having plunged back under 5 percent.

With pending home sales down 20 percent on a year-over-year basis, the drop in purchase mortgage activity shouldn’t catch any plugged-in readers by surprise. And closer to home, pending sales activity in San Francisco is now down nearly 40 percent on a year-over-year basis, another trend that shouldn’t have caught any plugged-in readers, other than the most obstinate, by surprise.

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