Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate VP of economic and industry forecasting, noted that both purchase and refinance applications had decreased, even as mortgage rates declined from five basis points to 3.15%.

Mortgage professionals consulted by MPA, however, downplayed the significance of the data. Kirk Tatom (pictured above), the president of Tatom Lending, said “8% seems like a stretch” but conceded his company had also experienced an annual drop, albeit smaller at 4%.

“Anyone who can refinance has probably done so at this point, so a decrease in volume wouldn’t surprise me at all.  We’ve had an awesome party for the last 16 months but at some point the keg will float,” he said. 

He, however, cautioned that brokers should be “preparing for the future” as the industry “had been running at break-neck speed for quite some time.” 

Austin Niemiec, EVP of Rocket Pro TPO, was untroubled by the data, saying mortgage brokers had the ability “to pivot on a dime” to support clients, regardless of market conditions.