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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 3.0 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending July 28, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 3.0 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 3 percent from the previous
week and was 32 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 26 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates edged higher last week, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate’s increase to 6.93 percent
and leading to another decline in overall applications,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy
Chief Economist. “The purchase index decreased for the third straight week to its lowest level since the
beginning of June and remains 26 percent behind last year’s levels. The decline in purchase activity was
driven mainly by weaker conventional purchase application volume, as limited housing inventory and
rates still close to 7 percent are crimping affordability for many potential homebuyers. The refinance
market continues to feel the impact of these higher rates, and applications trailed last year’s pace by over
30 percent with many homeowners not looking for refinance opportunities.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 6.93 percent from 6.87 percent, with points increasing to 0.68 from 0.65
(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 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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