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Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

The total number of U.S. mortgage applications declined last week for the fourth straight week, and the ninth time in 11 weeks, data released this morning by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed.

Why it matters: The consistent downturn in applications shows just how much the housing market has weakened since January when mortgage rates hit all-time lows, and unlike in February when economists pointed their fingers at cold weather, this slump appears to be market-driven.

Between the lines: "Mortgage applications for refinances and home purchases both declined, but purchase activity was still convincingly higher than the pandemic-induced drop seen a year ago, as well as up 6 percent from the same week in March 2019," Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says in a release.

Stay woke: Despite the decline in applications, prices continue to rise, as supply has stayed limited thanks to buyers looking to hold on to their quickly appreciating assets and a long-term decline in homebuilding.

  • Home prices saw the biggest annual gain in nearly 15 years in January, jumping by 11.2%, according to the Case-Shiller index.
  • The index was released Tuesday morning and showed just over 1 million homes for sale at the end of January, the fewest since 1982.

Go deeper

Home prices saw largest annual gain in nearly 15 years

Expand chart
Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Home prices saw the biggest annual gain in close to 15 years this January, according to the Case-Shiller index.

The big picture: Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego saw the highest year-over-year home price gains.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 30, 2021 - Economy & Business

2021's top asset: Lean hogs

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Thanks to declining production and bullish expectations for greater demand and more grocery shopping, prices of lean hogs are through the roof in 2021 and have become the world's top-performing major asset.

What's happening: Prices have risen by more than 60% over the past year, with the overwhelming majority of that growth taking place in 2021 (up 50% year to date), as the commodity has broken out since January.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
7 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.