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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

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by Calculated Risk on 12/15/2021 07:00:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 4.0 percent from
one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending December 10, 2021.

… The Refinance Index decreased 6 percent from the previous
week and was 41 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent
compared with the previous week and was 9 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Applications to refinance fell over the week, despite the 30-year fixed rate remaining at 3.30 percent.
With rates more than 40 basis points higher than last year, applications were down 41 percent on an
annual basis. Fewer homeowners have a strong incentive to refinance at current rates,” said Joel Kan,
MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity increased
slightly, as a 1.7 percent rise in conventional applications offset a 1.6 percent decline in applications for
government loans. The strength in conventional purchase activity continues to support higher loan
balances, which moved back over $400,000. Housing demand remains strong as the year comes to an
end amidst tight inventory and steep home-price growth.”


The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($548,250 or less) remained unchanged at 3.30 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.39
(including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added

Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

With relatively low rates, the index remains slightly elevated, but down sharply from last year.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index


According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 9% year-over-year unadjusted.

Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).

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