April 22, 2024
Mortgage

After Brief Surge, Mortgage Applications Continued Decreasing Over Two-Week Period — RISMedia


Mortgage applications decreased a notable 9.4% this week from two weeks earlier (the last report before the Christmas holiday), when they dipped slightly 1.5%, but after a 7.4% surge in mid-December, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 29, 2023. The results include adjustments to account for the holidays.

MBA says while rates have been falling, applications have struggled to reconcile.

This week’s numbers:

  • The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 9.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier. 
  • On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 38% compared with two weeks ago. 
  • The holiday adjusted Refinance Index decreased 18% from two weeks ago and the unadjusted Refinance Index decreased 43% from two weeks ago; both measures were 15% higher than the same week one year ago. 
  • The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5% compared with two weeks ago. 
  • The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 34% compared with two weeks ago and was 12% lower than the same week one year ago.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 36.3% of total applications from 39.4% the previous week. 
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.0% of total applications.
  • The FHA share of total applications decreased to 14.5% from 15.0% the week prior. 
  • The VA share of total applications decreased to 14.6% from 17.3% the week prior. 
  • The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.5% from 0.4% the week prior.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) increased to 6.76% from 6.71%, with points increasing to 0.61 from 0.55 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $726,200) increased to 6.86% from 6.85%, with points increasing to 0.41 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 6.51% from 6.50%, with points increasing to 0.86 from 0.73 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.26% from 6.41%, with points increasing to 0.73 from 0.50 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 5.71% from 6.26%, with points decreasing to 0.59 from 0.59 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week. 

MBA’s take:

“Markets continued to digest the impact of slowing inflation and potential rate cuts from the Federal Reserve, helping mortgage rates to stay at levels close to the lowest since mid-2023. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate edged higher last week and ended 2023 at 6.76%, over percentage point lower than its recent peak of 7.9 percent in October 2023,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist. “The recent decline in rates has given the housing market some cause for optimism going into 2024, but purchase applications have not yet picked up in response, with the overall level of purchase activity 12 percent lower than a year ago. Refinance applications were still at very low levels, but were 15 percent higher than a year ago.”

Added Kan, “The housing market has been hampered by a limited supply of homes for sale, but the recent strength in new residential construction will continue to help ease inventory shortages in the months to come.”





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