MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Weekly Survey - InvestingChannel

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Weekly Survey

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

Mortgage applications increased 3.0 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending November 17, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.0 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 0.1
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous
week and was 4 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 4 percent from one week earlier
. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent
compared with the previous week and was 20 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“U.S. bond yields continued to move lower as incoming data signaled a softer economy and more signs of
cooling inflation. Most mortgage rates in our survey decreased, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate
decreasing to 7.41 percent, the lowest rate in two months,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and
Deputy Chief Economist. “Mortgage applications increased to their highest level in six weeks, but remain
at very low levels
. Purchase applications were up almost four percent over the week, on a seasonally
adjusted basis, as both conventional and government purchase loans saw increases. The average loan
size on a purchase application was $403,600, the lowest since January 2023. This is consistent with other
sources of home sales data showing a gradually increasing first-time homebuyer share.”

Added Kan, “Refinance applications increased 1.6 percent last week, but the level of refinances continues
to be well below historical averages, given that most borrowers already have a rate well below current
market rates.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) decreased to 7.41 percent from 7.61 percent, with points decreasing to 0.62 from 0.67
(including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added

Mortgage Purchase IndexClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 20% year-over-year unadjusted.

Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).  Other than the previous five weeks, the purchase index was at the lowest level since 1995.  

Mortgage Refinance Index

The second graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

With higher mortgage rates, the refinance index declined sharply in 2022 – and has mostly flat lined at a low level since then.

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