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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications increased 27.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 13, 2023.

… The Refinance Index increased 34 percent from the previous week and was 81 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 25 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 32 percent compared with the previous week and was 35 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage application activity rebounded strongly in the first full week of January, with both refinance and purchase activity increasing by double-digit percentages compared to last week, which included the New Year’s holiday observance,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s SVP and Chief Economist. “Despite these gains, refinance activity remains more than 80% below last year’s pace and purchase volume remains 35% below year-ago levels.”

Added Fratantoni, “Mortgage rates are now at their lowest level since September 2022, and about a percentage point below the peak mortgage rate last fall. As we enter the beginning of the spring buying season, lower mortgage rates and more homes on the market will help affordability for first-time homebuyers.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) decreased to 6.23 percent from 6.42 percent, with points decreasing to 0.67 from 0.73 (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.
Two weeks ago, the refinance index was at the lowest level since the year 2000, but it has rebounded a little as rates declined.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.
According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 35% year-over-year unadjusted.
Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).

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