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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey


by Calculated Risk on 11/10/2021 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 5.5 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending November 5, 2021.

… The Refinance Index increased 7 percent from the previous
week and was 28 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 0.1 percent
compared with the previous week and was 4 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates moved lower for the second week in a row for all loan types. The 30-year fixed rate
decreased to 3.16 percent and has declined 14 basis points over the past two weeks. Although overall
activity remains close to January 2020 lows, homeowners acted on the decrease in rates. Refinance
activity was up 7 percent overall, with gains in both conventional and government refinances. Additionally,
the average loan balance for a refinance application was the highest in a month,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s
Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase applications were also strong
last week, increasing just under 3 percent and down only 4 percent from last year’s pace. The dip in rates
might have helped to bring some buyers back into the market, but housing inventory is still extremely low
and price growth remains elevated.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.16 percent from 3.24 percent, with points remaining unchanged at
0.34 (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 refinance index since 1990.

With relatively low rates, the index remains somewhat elevated, and the recent decline in rates has given the index a slight boost.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 4% year-over-year unadjusted.

This is the smallest year-over-year decline in some time (purchase activity was strong in the 2nd half of 2020). However, this week last year was weak – so it is likely the year-over-year decline will be larger in coming weeks.

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

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