The jury is still out on whether new regulations are slowing down mortgage lending. It could just be the weather.

According to data collected by the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications for purchase money mortgage loans are running 15% behind the association's forecasts for this year, though they increased 12% over January. The MBA had predicted this would be the year when purchase money lending would surpass refinances as the leading type of mortgage lending in the U.S.

Mike Fratantoni, the association's chief economist, said that was likely to still happen but purchase money lending may not be as strong as first supposed. "We forecast a sharp drop in refinances and that has happened, but the growth in the purchase lending, so far, has not been what we expected," he said last week.

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