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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

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by Calculated Risk on 8/24/2022 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 August 19, 2022.

… The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous
week and was 83 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent
compared with the previous week and was 21 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications continued to remain at a 22-year low, held down by significantly reduced
refinancing demand and weak home purchase activity. Last week’s purchase results varied, with
conventional applications declining 2 percent and government applications increasing 4 percent, which is
potentially a sign of more first-time homebuyer activity. The average purchase loan size continued to
trend lower, as purchase activity at the high end of the market is weakening,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s
Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Mortgage rates increased for all loan
types last week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed rate jumping 20 basis points to 5.65 percent – the
highest in nearly a month. The spread between conforming fixed-rate loans and ARM loans narrowed to
84 basis points from over 100 basis points the prior week. This movement made fixed rate loans relatively
more attractive than ARMs, thereby reducing the ARM share further from highs seen earlier this year.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($647,200 or less) increased to 5.65 percent from 5.45 percent, with points increasing to 0.68 from 0.57
(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.
The refinance index is at the lowest level since the year 2000.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 21% year-over-year unadjusted.
The purchase index is now only 11% above the pandemic low.

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

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