The Mortgage Bankers Association report that mortgage applications rose over the previous week by 0.1 percent. More borrowers showed a willingness to take than the week ending April 27, 2012. The volume of mortgage refinance requests declined 0.7 percent from the prior week. Refinancing application dropped to 72.6 of mortgage activates as compared to 73.4 percent. Consumer loan and mortgage information statistics from MortgageRefinance.com reports the nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.97 percent.
The average 15-year mortgage rate was 3.04%, down from the record of 3.11% set four weeks ago.
Debt-to-Income Ratio Up for Bottom 95 Percent
The inability of many American to buy a home has become even more pronounce after the last financial crisis and millions of U.S. homeowners of Americans having lost their homes to foreclosure. In the last 20 years, while the people at the upper 5 percent of the income bracket continue to accumulate wealth, the other 95 percent of people have watched their debt burdens increase.
According to a study by two International Monetary Fund economists, in 1986, the top 5 percent of U.S. households had 76 cents of debt for every dollar earned. By 2007, the debt-to-income ratio dropped to 64 cents. Conversely, households in the bottom 95 percent, with wage and capital gains incomes of $167,000 and below, took on an average debt of 62 cent for each dollar of income.
By 2007, the ratio of debt for this group climbed to $1.48 for each $1 of earnings. More people relied on debt to finance their lifestyles. This pattern of income –debt disparity has continued through today.
Since 1983, the top 5 percent of the wealthiest Americans have watch their total share of income grow to 34 percent of total income in 2007 – excluding capital gains. The figure was just 22 percent in 1983. Co-author of the research report, Michael Kumbof, said that the rich invested the money back into the economy by making funds in the form of credit available of the 95 percent.
Former Labor Department secretary for the Clinton administration, Robert Reich, said as household income declined, more people use debt to keep themselves going and “purchase what they needed.” With credit easier to obtain, these households expand credit card balance, took out home equity loans and finance more automobile purchases.
In 2010, the average person in the U.S. had a debt of $7,800. Revolving debt (credit cards) make up 33 percent of debts. Mortgages, car loans and student loans make up the other 67 percent. In 2010, between 2 to 2.5 million individuals sought help from debt consolidation firms or credit counselors to avoid filing bankruptcy.
Kumbof said the only two times such a significant increase in income and debt inequality occurred – in the 1920s and 2008-- the nation spiraled into a financial crisis. Furthermore, although many Americans have rid themselves of debt since 2008, it has primarily occurred through bankruptcy or foreclosure.