Last week, the number of Americans applying for mortgages decreased from the previous week, according to a report released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The Index, which measures and compares mortgage loan application volume from week to week, showed that for the week ending January 16, mortgage activity decreased 9.8% from the previous week’s numbers. The number of refinance applications fell 12.4%, while applications from those seeking to purchase a home posted a 2.5% increase.

Bob Walters, chief economist for Quicken Loans, says the decrease in applications is understandable since the last several weeks have seen record activity but still expects the demand for mortgages to continue long into the new year.

“It is important to remember that this dip in activity comes on the heels of a major increase in refinance applications last week. Mortgage activity remains brisk, as many consumers are taking advantage of long-term mortgage rates that are flirting with the 5 percent level,” Walters said.

“It will be interesting to see how next week’s report pans out given the holiday weekend and Presidential Inauguration. Regardless, demand for mortgages will remain strong for the foreseeable future.”

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