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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

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by Calculated Risk on 1/19/2022 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 2.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 14, 2022.

… The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week and was 49 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 14 percent compared with the previous week and was 13 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates hit their highest levels since March 2020, leading to the slowest pace of refinance activity in over two years. The 30-year fixed rate reached 3.64 percent and has increased more than 30 basis points over the past two weeks. FHA and VA refinance declines drove most of the refinance slowdown,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Despite the increase in rates, purchase applications jumped almost 8 percent, with conventional purchase applications accounting for much of the stronger activity. The average loan size for a purchase application set a record at $418,500. The continued rise in purchase loan application sizes is driven by high home price appreciation and the lack of housing inventory on the market – especially for entry-level homes. The slower growth in government purchase activity is also contributing to the larger loan balances and suggests that prospective first-time buyers are struggling to find homes to buy in their price range.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 3.64 percent from 3.52 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.45 (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.

The refinance index will probably decline sharply again next week.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 13% year-over-year unadjusted.

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

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