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MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications Increased in Weekly Survey


From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications increased 6.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 10, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 6.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 7 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week and was 74 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 8 percent compared with the previous week and was 38 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Treasury yields declined late last week, as market concerns over bank closures and the potential for broader ripple effects triggered a flight to safety in Treasury bonds. This decline pushed mortgage rates for all loan types lower, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing to 6.71 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Home-purchase applications increased for the second straight week but remained almost 40 percent below last year’s pace. While lower rates should buoy housing demand, the financial market volatility may cause buyers to pause their decisions.”

Added Kan, “Refinance activity remained more than 70 percent behind last year’s level, as rates are still more than two percentage points higher than a year ago. The dip in rates did bring some borrowers back as evidenced by the 5 percent increase in refinance applications last week.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) decreased to 6.71 percent from 6.79 percent, with points decreasing to 0.79 from 0.80 (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.
Other than the lows recent in Q4 of 2022 and earlier this year, the refinance index was 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 38% year-over-year unadjusted.  
Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).

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