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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

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by Calculated Risk on 9/29/2021 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 1.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 24, 2021.

… The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent from the previous week and was 0.4 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 12 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Increased optimism about the strength of the economy pushed Treasury yields higher following last
week’s FOMC meeting. Mortgage rates in response rose across all loan types, with the benchmark 30-
year fixed rate reaching its highest level since early July 2021,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice
President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The increase in rates – mostly later in the week – led to
a decrease in both purchase and refinance applications, with a prominent decline in government loan
applications. Conventional loan applications increased, driven by a rise in conventional refinances. This
was perhaps a sign that some borrowers reacted to higher rates and decided to refinance.”

Added Kan, “With home-price appreciation continuing to run hot, increasing more than 19 percent
annually in July, applications for larger loan amounts continue to outpace lower-balance loans. The
average loan size for a purchase application reached $410,000, its highest level since May 2021.”



The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.10 percent from 3.03 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.30 (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 low rates, the index remains elevated.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index


According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 12% year-over-year unadjusted.

Note: The year ago comparisons for the unadjusted purchase index are now difficult since purchase activity picked up in late May 2020.

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

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