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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 3/02/2022 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 0.7 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending February 25, 2022.

… The Refinance Index increased 1 percent from the previous
week and was 56 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent
compared with the previous week and was 9 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates last week reached multi-year highs, putting a damper on applications activity. The 30-
year fixed rate reached its highest level since 2019 at 4.15 percent, and the refinance share of
applications dipped below 50 percent. Although there was an increase in government refinance
applications, higher rates continue to push potential refinance borrowers out of the market,” said Joel
Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity remained
weak, but the average loan size increased again, which indicates that home-price growth remains strong,
and a greater share of the activity is occurring at the higher end of the market.”

Added Kan, “We will continue to assess the potential impact on mortgage demand from the sharp drop in
interest rates this week due to the invasion of Ukraine.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($647,200 or less) increased to 4.15 percent from 4.06 percent, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.48
(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 probably increase in the next survey as rates fall due to the invasion.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 9% year-over-year unadjusted.

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

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