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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Weekly Survey


From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 3.7 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending April 21, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.7 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 5
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous
week and was 51 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent
compared with the previous week and was 28 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Both conventional and government home purchase applications increased last week. However, activity
was still nearly 28 percent below last year’s pace, as high mortgage rates and low supply have slowed the
market this year, even as home-price growth has decelerated in many markets across the country,” said
Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Refinance applications also increased last
week but remained at half of last year’s levels. Although incoming data points to a slowdown in the U.S.
economy, markets continue to expect that the Fed will raise short-term rates at its next meeting, which
have pushed Treasury yields somewhat higher. As a result of the higher yields, mortgage rates increased
for the second straight week to their highest level in over a month, with the 30-year fixed rate now at 6.55
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 6.55 percent from 6.43 percent, with points remaining at 0.63 (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 28% 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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