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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 2.1 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending October 27, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.1 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 3
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous
week and was 12 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent
compared with the previous week and was 22 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications declined for the third straight week as mortgage rates remained elevated, with all
rates around 30 basis points higher than they were a month ago. The 30-year fixed rate dipped slightly to
7.86 percent but remained close to 23-year highs and has been above the 7-percent level since early
August 2023,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “The impact of higher
rates continued to be felt across both purchase and refinance markets. Purchase applications decreased
to their lowest level since 1995 and refinance applications to the lowest level since January 2023.
Applications for government loans saw much larger weekly declines than conventional, with government
purchase applications down 3 percent and refinances down 9 percent.”

Added Kan, “As higher rates continue to impact affordability and purchasing power, ARM loans increased
almost 10 percent last week and continued to gain share, growing to 10.7 percent of all applications.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) decreased to 7.86 percent from 7.90 percent, with points decreasing to 0.73 from 0.77
(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 22% year-over-year unadjusted.  

Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).  The purchase index is at 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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