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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased in Weekly Survey; Purchase Apps Lowest Since 1995


From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 6.0 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending September 29, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 6.0 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 7 percent from the previous
week and was 11 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent
compared with the previous week and was 22 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates continued to move higher last week as markets digested the recent upswing in Treasury
yields. Rates for all mortgage products increased, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate increasing for the
fourth consecutive week to 7.53 percent – the highest rate since 2000,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice
President and Deputy Chief Economist. “As a result, mortgage applications ground to a halt, dropping to
the lowest level since 1996. The purchase market slowed to the lowest level of activity since 1995, as the
rapid rise in rates pushed an increasing number of potential homebuyers out of the market. ARM loan
applications picked up over the week and the ARM share increased to 8 percent, as some borrowers
searched for ways to lower their payments.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 7.53 percent from 7.41 percent, with points increasing to 0.80 from 0.71
(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 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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