Mortgage applications declined 27.1 percent last week compared to the previous week, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey.

The unadjusted purchase index decreased 27 percent compared with the previous week and was 24.1 percent lower than the same week a year ago. This is the lowest level of applications for home purchases observed in the survey since May 1997.

The data continue to suggest that the tax credit pulled sales into April at the expense of the remainder of the spring buying season. In fact, this drop occurred even as rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages continued to fall, and at 4.83 percent are at their lowest level since November 2009, said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics for the MBA.

Mortgage rates are at bargain levels:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.83 percent from 4.96 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.19 percent from 4.32 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs decreased to 6.81 percent from 6.86 percent.