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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 1.0 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending October 20, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.0 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous
week and was 8 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 2 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.

“Ten-year Treasury yields climbed higher last week, as global investors remained concerned about the
prospect for higher-for-longer rates and burgeoning fiscal deficits. Mortgage rates followed Treasuries
higher, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumping 20 basis points to 7.9 percent – the highest since
2000. Rates have now risen seven consecutive weeks at a cumulative amount of 69 basis points,” said
Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Mortgage activity continued to stall, with
applications dipping to the slowest weekly pace since 1995. These higher mortgage rates are keeping
prospective homebuyers out of the market and continue to suppress refinance activity. The ARM share of
applications inched up to 9.5 percent, its highest since November 2022.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 7.90 percent from 7.70 percent, with points increasing to 0.77 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 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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