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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 11/23/2022 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 2.2 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending November 18, 2022. Last week’s results include an adjustment
for the observance of Veterans Day.

… The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous
week and was 86 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent
compared with the previous week and was 41 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell for the second week in a row to 6.67 percent and is now down
almost 50 basis points from the recent peak of 7.16 percent one month ago,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice
President and Deputy Chief Economist. “The decrease in mortgage rates should improve the purchasing
power of prospective homebuyers, who have been largely sidelined as mortgage rates have more than
doubled in the past year. As a result of the drop in mortgage rates, both purchase and refinance
applications picked up slightly last week. However, refinance activity is still more than 80 percent below
last year’s pace.”

Added Kan, “With the decline in rates, the ARM share of applications also decreased to 8.8 percent of
loans last week, down from the range of 10 and 12 percent during the past two months.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($647,200 or less) decreased to 6.67 percent from 6.90 percent, with points increasing to 0.68 from 0.56
(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 higher mortgage rates, the refinance index has declined sharply this year.
The refinance index is near the lowest level since the year 2000.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 41% year-over-year unadjusted.
The purchase index is 4% below the pandemic low and just up from the lowest level since 2015.

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

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