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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

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From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 6.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 1, 2021.

… The Refinance Index decreased 10 percent from the previous week and was 16 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 13 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications to refinance dropped almost 10 percent last week to the lowest level in three months, as the 30-year fixed rate increased to 3.14 percent – the highest since July. Higher rates are reducing borrowers’ incentive to refinance, as declines were seen across all loan types,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity also fell, driven by a drop in conventional loan applications. Government purchase applications were up over 1 percent, but that was still not enough to bring down the average loan balance of $410,000. With home-price appreciation and sales prices remaining very elevated, applications for higher balance, conventional loans still dominate the mix of activity.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.14 percent from 3.10 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.34 (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 – but the recent bump in rates has slowed activity.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 13% year-over-year unadjusted.

Note: The year ago comparisons for the unadjusted purchase index are now difficult since purchase activity was strong in the second half of 2020.


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

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