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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

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From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications increased 3.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 9, 2022.

… The Refinance Index increased 3 percent from the previous week and was 85 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 38 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates increased slightly after a month of declines, as financial markets reacted to mixed signals regarding inflation and the Federal Reserve’s next policy moves. The 30-year fixed rate inched to 6.42 percent, which is still close to the lowest rate in a month,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Overall applications increased, driven by increases in purchase and refinance activity. However, with rates more than three percentage points higher than a year ago, both purchase and refinance applications are still well behind last year’s pace.”

Added Kan, “The ongoing moderation in home-price growth, along with further declines in mortgage rates, may encourage more buyers to return to the market in the coming months.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 6.42 percent from 6.41 percent, with points increasing to 0.64 from 0.63 (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 has declined sharply this year.
The refinance index is up slightly from the low in November 2022 (an extreme low).
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index
According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 38% year-over-year unadjusted.
The purchase index is at the pandemic low and up from the low in October 2022.

Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).

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