Mortgage Rates Up, Demand Drops

The latest findings for mortgage applications in OctoberBlame it on mortgage rates. The number of new mortgage applications, which includes both home purchases and refinances, fell for the week ending Oct. 15 by 10.5 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The easy culprits in this case were interest rates on 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which increased for the first time in six weeks. Of course, the whole story is a little more complicated. The simple fact is that many homeowners and buyers can't qualify for the still-sensational rates due to tighter lending standards, low credit scores and high unemployment.

The big picture? The housing recovery will proceed at a glacially slow pace. (Click on "Full Story" for a full-size version of the chart.)

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