With the average loan size on applications to purchase a home across the nation having dropped to a two-year low, which, in the euphemistic words of the Mortgage Bankers Association, is consistent with “a rapidly cooling home-price environment,” the seasonally adjusted volume of applications to secure a purchase mortgage ticked down 3 percent over the past week and was down 40 percent on a year-over-year basis.

At the same time, the share of applications for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) has dropped to under 8 percent, representing the vast minority share of the market, as has historically been the case, both nationally and locally.

And while it’s true that many, if not most, homeowners have been able to lock-in significantly lower mortgage rates over the past decade than are on offer today, 28.7 percent of the overall mortgage application volume last week was to refinance an existing loan, up from 26.1 percent the week prior, but refinancing activity was 86 percent lower than at the same time last year when the average 30-year rate was less than half its current average.

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