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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 September 8, 2023. This week’s results included an adjustment
for the Labor Day holiday.

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 12
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous
week and was 31 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 11 percent
compared with the previous week and was 27 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications decreased for the seventh time in eight weeks, reaching the lowest level since
1996. Last week’s decline was driven by a 5 percent drop in refinance applications to the weakest reading
since January 2023,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “The 30-year
fixed mortgage rate increased to 7.27 percent last week and was 40 basis points higher than where it was
in late July. Purchase applications increased over the week despite the increase in rates, pushed higher
by a 2 percent gain in conventional loans. Given how high rates are right now, there continues to be
minimal refinance activity and a reduced incentive for homeowners to sell and buy a new home at a
higher rate.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 7.27 percent from 7.21 percent, with points increasing to 0.72 from 0.69
(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).  

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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