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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased in Weekly Survey


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

Mortgage applications decreased 3.1 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending August 4, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 3.1 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 4
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous
week and was 37 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent
compared with the previous week and was 27 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Treasury yields rates rose last week and mortgage rates followed suit, due to a combination of the
Treasury’s funding announcement and the downgrading of the U.S. government debt rating. Rates
increased for all loan types in our survey, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate increasing to 7.09 percent,
the highest level since November 2022,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief
Economist. “Additionally, the rate for FHA mortgages increased to 7.02 percent, the highest rate since
2002. Not surprisingly, mortgage applications continued to decline given these higher rates, with overall
application counts falling for the third consecutive week, as both purchase and refinance activity declined.
The purchase index fell for the fourth consecutive week, as homebuyers continue to struggle with low for-sale inventory and elevated mortgage rates.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 7.09 percent from 6.93 percent, with points increasing to 0.70 from 0.68
(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 MBA mortgage purchase index.

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 27% year-over-year unadjusted.  

Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).  This is the lowest level since February, and close to the lowest level since 1995!

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.

Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications

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