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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 0.8 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending August 11, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.8 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from the previous
week and was 35 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 0 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent
compared with the previous week and was 26 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Treasury rates were elevated again last week following mixed data on inflation and more indication of
resiliency in the economy, which may pose a challenge to the Federal Reserve’s efforts to lower inflation.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased for the third straight week, reaching 7.16 percent, matching
October 2022’s rate and the highest rate since 2001,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy
Chief Economist. “Overall applications decreased because of these higher rates, as both purchase and
refinance applications ended the week at their lowest levels since February 2023. Government purchase
applications provided a bright spot, increasing 2.4 percent over the week, driven by increases in both FHA
and VA purchase categories. The ARM share of applications rose slightly to 7 percent, the highest since
April 2023, as borrowers look for relief from higher fixed rates.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 7.16 percent from 7.09 percent, with points decreasing to 0.68 from 0.70
(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 26% 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.

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