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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

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by Calculated Risk on 3/09/2022 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 8.5 percent from one
week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ending March 4, 2022.

… The Refinance Index increased 9 percent from the previous
week and was 50 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 9 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 11 percent
compared with the previous week and was 7 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates dropped for the first time in 12 weeks, as the war in Ukraine spurred an investor flight to
quality, which pushed U.S. Treasury yields lower. A 6-basis-point decline in the 30-year fixed-rate
mortgage led to a slight rebound in total refinance activity, with a larger gain in government refinances.
Looking ahead, the potential for higher inflation amidst disruptions in oil and other commodity flows will
likely lead to a period of volatility in rates as these effects work against each other,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s
Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity also increased, as
prospective buyers acted on lower rates and the early start of the spring buying season. The average loan
size remained close to record highs, with higher-balance loan applications continuing to dominate
growth.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($647,200 or less) decreased to 4.09 percent from 4.15 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 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 rebounded slightly as rates fell due to the invasion.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index


According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 7% year-over-year unadjusted.

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

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