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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 3/16/2022 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 1.2 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending March 11, 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 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent
compared with the previous week and was 8 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates continue to be volatile due to the significant uncertainty regarding Federal Reserve policy
and the situation in Ukraine. Investors are weighing the impacts of rapidly increasing inflation in the U.S.
and many other parts of the world against the potential for a slowdown in economic growth due to a
renewed bout of supply-chain constraints,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic
and Industry Forecasting. “After declining two weeks ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased last
week to 4.27 percent – the highest since May 2019. Rates are now roughly a full percentage point higher
than a year ago and continue to hamper refinance activity. Refinances declined for both conventional and
government loans.”

Added Kan, “Purchase applications slightly increased, with both conventional and VA loan applications
seeing gains. The average purchase application loan size remained elevated at $453,200 – the second highest amount in MBA’s survey.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($647,200 or less) increased to 4.27 percent from 4.09 percent, with points increasing to 0.54 from 0.44
(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 higher mortgage rates, the refinance index has declined sharply over the last several months.
Refinance activity will likely decline further in the survey next week since mortgage rates increased further this week.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index


According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 8% year-over-year unadjusted.

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

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