Mortgage applications decreased 0.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 16, 2020.Click on graph for larger image.
... The Refinance Index increased 0.2 percent from the previous week and was 74 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 26 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
“Mortgage rates increased last week, with the 30-year fixed rate climbing 2 basis points to 3.02 percent – the highest since late September. Despite the uptick in rates, refinance activity held steady, with FHA refinance applications posting a 17.6 percent increase, helping to offset declines in the other loan types,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Homebuyer demand remains strong this fall, but purchase applications did decrease 2 percent, with both conventional and government purchase activity taking a step back. Given the ongoing housing market recovery and low rate environment, both purchase and refinance applications remained robust compared to a year ago, rising 26 percent and 74 percent, respectively.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 3.02 percent from 3.00 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.
The refinance index has been very volatile recently depending on rates and liquidity.
But with record low rates, the index remains up significantly from last year.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index
According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 26% year-over-year unadjusted.
Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).