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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

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by Calculated Risk on 10/20/2021 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 6.3 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending October 15, 2021.

… The Refinance Index decreased 7 percent from the previous
week and was 22 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent
compared with the previous week and was 12 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Refinance applications declined for the fourth week as rates increased, bringing the refinance index to its
lowest level since July 2021. The 30-year fixed rate has increased 20 basis points over the past month
and reached 3.23 percent last week – the highest since April 2021. The 15-year fixed rate increased to
2.54 percent, which is the highest since July,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of
Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity declined and was 12 percent lower than a year
ago, within the annual comparison range that it has been over the past six weeks. Insufficient housing
supply and elevated home-price growth continue to limit options for would-be buyers.”


The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($548,250 or less) increased to 3.23 percent from 3.18 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.37
(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 somewhat 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 12% 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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