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A scoop From Bubble Track:
Mortgage Bankers Association Starts Hiding Data
"The Mortgage Bankers Association, which tracks and reports on a number of mortgage statistics recently, and quietly, changed much of its website content to a membership only format. Among other things, gone is the historical data that used to permit easy and free trending of mortgage application data."
"Is it a coincidence that this move comes now? If it is, it’s a really convenient one. One reason for this opinion is that mortgage applications have fallen for two straight quarters in a row here in the northeast, and are on track to fall even further (even though the news might make you think otherwise). By selectively promoting weekly variations in mortgage application data, you can get the impression that the market has started to recover from it downward spiral, or is even trending upwards, when it is not. Of course, selective promotion is hard to do when you can get statistically significant data samples, which requires the historical data they are no longer providing."
"The second reason that this change comes at an interesting time is that, as other blogs have pointed out, there are growing concerns of a slowdown inside the mortgage banking industry. In fact, in developments that are not getting nearly enough press, companies such as Countrywide and Wakefield are talking about selling mortgage banking assets and laying people off. These are not things companies do when they see a growing market. In that context, it appears that the Mortgage Bankers Association may be plotting a new revenue model for use in as the market slows. A move like this wouldn’t be without precedent either, as many websites went to a membership format when advertising (their main revenue driver) revenue dried up after to dot.com collapse."
Story on mortgage banking changes