According to new consumer activity collected by MortgageLoan.com between October 15 and November 15 2010, the New York City metro area and cities in Florida are seeing overall increases in mortgage and refinance requests. Requests in Boston, Texas, and the Southwest are mixed.

New York City Mortgages:

The housing market in the New York Metro area appears to be improving. Over the past 30 days, MortgageLoan.com has experienced a 17% increase in New York City overall mortgage and refinance request volume. Perhaps it is a sign that hiring has returned on Wall Street or a reflection of the state's improving economy highlighted by growing overall activity, purchase, and refinance requests.

Boston Mortgages: The Boston metro area market showed a 32% in purchase activity, yet a 23% drop in refinance activity. This is an interesting dichotomy. It suggests a situation where first time homebuyers, in-bound relocated employees, or investors are taking advantage of lowered home values. At the same time, existing homeowners are still struggling with homes that cannot be refinanced due to value, credit, or employment issues.

Florida Refinance: We saw a 71% increase in Miami and Ft Lauderdale refinance requests, and a 47% increase in Orlando. The dramatic increase in refinance activity in Florida markets suggests that home values may be stabilizing in many areas of the state. Recent home price surveys, which do not look at secondary markets, have shown further value drops. Yet our site activity provides anecdotal evidence that may indicate more positive attitudes among Florida homeowners relative to their refinancing prospects.

Texas Mortgages: Finally, we saw an overall decrease of 17% in the Houston, TX area This dramatic slowdown in activity from Texas is a troubling sign for these markets. Houston, TX was the only top ten market to see an overall decline in site request activity. Other Texas and Southwestern markets saw precipitous declines in refinance activity as well, including a 38% decrease in Phoenix, AZ, a 32% decrease in Albuquerque, NM, a 26% decrease in San Antonio TX, and a 24% decrease in Fort Worth, TX.

Recent price surveys, though limited in their measurements in this region, show a sudden decline in housing prices. Fallout from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on the oil and gas industry is certainly part of the issue, particularly in Houston.

Overall Mortgage Activity (between October 15, 2010 and November 15, 2010)

1. 17% increase in New York City overall request volume

2. 24% increase in Long Island, NY overall request volume

3. 18% increase in Minneapolis, MN overall request volume

4. 14% increase in Atlanta, GA overall request volume

5. 17% decrease in Houston, TX overall request volume

Top Cities With Purchase Mortgage Volume Growth

1. 61% increase in Detroit, MI purchase requests

2. 41% increase in Buffalo, NY and Orlando, FL purchase requests

3. 34% increase in Long Island, NY purchase requests

Others increasing: Indianapolis, IN (33%), Boston, MA (32%), Jacksonville, FL (30%), Los Angeles, CA (29%)

Top Cities With Lower Purchase Mortgage Volume

1. 26% decrease in Edison, NJ purchase requests

2. 19% decrease in Las Vegas, NV purchase requests

3. 17% decrease in Providence, RI purchase requests

Others decreasing: Charlotte, NC (16%), West Palm Beach, FL (15%), Sacramento, CA (14%) and St Louis, MO (14%)

Top Cities With Refinance Volume Growth

1. 71% increase in Miami, FL and Ft Lauderdale, FL refinance requests

2. 54% increase in Colorado Springs, CO refinance requests

3. 47% increase in Orlando, FL refinance requests

Others increasing: Tampa, FL (45%), West Palm Beach, FL (40%), Poughkeepsie, NY (38%), Albany, NY (38%) and Allentown, PA (36%)

Top Cities With Lower Refinance Volume

1. 38% decrease in Phoenix, AZ refinance requests

2. 32% decrease in Albuquerque, NM refinance requests

3. 26% decrease in San Antonio, TX and Worcester, MA refinance requests

Others decreasing: Cambridge, MA (25%), Columbus, OH (24%), Ft Worth, TX (24%), Boston, MA (23%), Newark, NJ (21%) and Edison, NJ (17%)

The consumer activity referenced was collected between October 15 and November 15 2010 on mortgageloan.com and compared to the prior 30 day period. Overall, site activity at mortgageloan.com indicates a housing market that varies market to market and month to month. However, signs of marginal improvement do appear to be creeping in to the data.

MortgageLoan.com serves hundreds of thousands of consumers each month providing access to news, information and connections to the mortgage market. The profile of our visitor's activity gives us a valuable snapshot of the housing and mortgage markets. Therefore, periodically we will publish a profile of those that visit our site seeking mortgage loan assistance. Our aim is to highlight trends and interesting patterns we see that may foretell market turns or that are contrary to recent reports from other sources.

Published on December 2, 2010