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Falling mortgage volumes show moving activity still declining

Fewer people are looking to move into new homes.

Fewer people are looking to move into new homes.

The latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that the number of families interested in moving into a new home is continuing to drop.

According to the MBA's weekly survey, the number of purchase applications during the week ending October 15 showed a 6.7 percent decline compared with the previous week, and was more than 29 percent below the levels from the same week a year ago. The level of purchases is also now approaching the 13-year low that was set this last July.

"People just don't really have the confidence or ability to buy a new home," Paul Dales, a U.S. economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in Toronto, told Bloomberg. "A lot of homeowners are constrained by accumulated debts or the fact that they're in negative equity."

Total mortgage volume also retreated, with a weekly decline of 10.5 percent, led by refinance applications, which decreased by 11.2 percent.

Much of the seasonal decline has been blamed on the after-effects of the first-time homebuyer tax credit. A recent report by Clear Capital said that the credit accelerated moving plans for many families, leaving fewer of them hiring moving companies now.