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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Weekly Survey

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From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly SurveyMortgage applications increased 2.5 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending November 3, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.5 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous
week and was 7 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent
compared with the previous week and was 20 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped by 25 basis points to 7.61 percent, the largest single week
decline since July 2022,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Last week’s
decrease in rates was driven by the U.S. Treasury’s issuance update, the Fed striking a dovish tone in the
November FOMC statement, and data indicating a slower job market. Applications for both purchase and
refinance loans were up over the week but remained at low levels. The purchase index is still more than
20 percent behind last year’s pace, as many homebuyers remain on the sidelines until more for-sale
inventory becomes available.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) decreased to 7.61 percent from 7.86 percent, with points decreasing to 0.69 from 0.73
(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 20% year-over-year unadjusted.  

Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).  The previous week the purchase index was 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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