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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 11/03/2021 07:00:00 AM

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

— Mortgage applications decreased 3.3 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending October 29, 2021.

… The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous
week and was 33 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 3 percent
compared with the previous week and was 9 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates decreased for the first time since August, as concerns about supply-chain bottlenecks,
waning consumer confidence, weaker economic growth, and rising inflation pushed Treasury yields lower.
Most of the decline in rates came later in the week, which is likely why refinance applications declined to
the lowest level since January 2020, and the overall share of activity fell to the lowest since July 2021,”
said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Government
refinance applications fell for the sixth straight week, as it becomes evident that an increasing number of
borrowers have already refinanced.”

Added Kan, “Purchase activity continues to be held back by high prices and low for-sale inventory, but
current applications levels still point to healthy housing demand. MBA is forecasting for a record $1.6
billion in purchase mortgage originations this year, and sustained demand leading to another record year
in 2022.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.24 percent from 3.30 percent, with points remaining unchanged at
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 relatively low rates, the index remains somewhat elevated – but the recent bump in rates has slowed activity to the lowest level since January 2020.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 9% 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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