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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 8.8 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending April 14, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 8.8 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 8
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 6 percent from the previous
week and was 56 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 10 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 9 percent
compared with the previous week and was 36 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Last week’s increase in mortgage rates prompted a pullback in application activity. With more first-time
homebuyers in the market, we continue to see increased sensitivity to rate changes. The 30-year fixed
rate increased 13 basis points to 6.43 percent, which led to purchase applications declining 10 percent,”
said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Chief Economist. “Affordability challenges persist and there is
limited for-sale inventory in many markets across the country, so buyers remain selective on when they
act. The 10-percent drop in FHA purchase applications, and the increase in the average purchase loan
size to its highest level in a month, are other indications that first-time buyers have pulled back. The
spread between the jumbo and conforming 30-year fixed rates widened slightly last week to 15 basis
points, but this was a much tighter spread compared to the past year. As banks reduce their willingness to
hold jumbo loans, we expect this narrowing trend to continue.”

Added Kan, “Refinances also declined and accounted for just over a quarter of all applications, as rates
remained more than a full percentage point above the same week a year ago. This leaves very little
refinance incentive for most homeowners.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 6.43 percent from 6.30 percent, with points increasing to 0.63 from 0.55
(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 36% 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.

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