Wednesday, December 09, 2020

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 12/09/2020 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 December 4, 2020. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.

... The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week and was 89 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 29 percentcompared with the previous week and was 22 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Refinance activity increased last week in response to mortgage rates for 30-year, 15-year, and FHA loans hitting their lowest levels in MBA’s survey. The increase in refinance applications was driven by FHA and VA refinances, while conventional activity fell slightly. The ongoing refinance wave has continued through the fall, with activity last week up 89 percent from a year ago,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The purchase market is also poised to finish 2020 on a strong note. Applications fell slightly last week but were around 3 percent higher than the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Reversing the recent trend, there was also a shift in the composition of purchase applications, with an increase in government loans pushing the average loan balance lower.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased to a survey low of 2.90 percent from 2.92 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Mortgage Refinance IndexClick on graph for larger image.


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.

Mortgage Purchase Index The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 22% year-over-year unadjusted.

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