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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 1.8 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending July 21, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.8 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index 1.5 percent
compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 0.4 percent from the previous week
and was 30 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 2 percent
compared with the previous week and was 23 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates were essentially flat last week but remained high, with the 30-year fixed staying at 6.87
percent and contributing to a pullback in mortgage applications,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and
Deputy Chief Economist. “The 2.5 percent decline in purchase activity, partly driven by a 10 percent
decrease in FHA applications, pushed the purchase index to its lowest level in over a month. The
decrease in FHA purchase applications contributed to an increase in the overall average purchase loan
size to $432,700, its highest level since the end of this May. Refinance applications remained lackluster,
running 30 percent behind year-ago levels. Many borrowers remain on the sidelines given current rates
and persistent affordability challenges.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) remained unchanged at 6.87 percent, with points decreasing to 0.65 from 0.66
(including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased
from last week.

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 23% year-over-year unadjusted.  

Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).  This is the lowest level since early June, and close to the lowest level since the mid-’90s!

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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