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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased Over Last Two Weeks

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From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased Over a Two-Week Period in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 13.2 percent from two weeks earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 30, 2022. The results include adjustments to account for the holidays.

… The holiday adjusted Refinance Index decreased 16.3 percent from the two weeks ago and was 87 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 12.2 percent from two weeks earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 38.5 percent compared with the two weeks ago and was 42 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“The end of the year is typically a slower time for the housing market, and with mortgage rates still well above 6 percent and the threat of a recession looming, mortgage applications continued to decline over the past two weeks to the lowest level since 1996,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Purchase applications have been impacted by slowing home sales in both the new and existing segments of the market. Even as home-price growth slows in many parts of the country, elevated mortgage rates continue to put a strain on affordability and are keeping prospective homebuyers out of the market.”

Added Kan, “Refinance applications remain less than a third of the market and were 87 percent lower than a year ago as rates remained close to double what they were in 2021. Mortgage rates are lower than October 2022 highs, but would have to decline substantially to generate additional refinance activity.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 6.58 percent from 6.42 percent, with points increasing to 0.73 from 0.65 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis addedClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

With higher mortgage rates, the refinance index declined sharply in 2022.
The refinance index is at the lowest level since the year 2000.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index
According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 42% year-over-year unadjusted.
The purchase index is 12% below the pandemic low and at the lowest level since 2015.

Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).
NOTE: Be careful not to read too much into holiday adjusted data.

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