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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 12/16/2020 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 1.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 11, 2020.

... The Refinance Index increased 1 percent from the previous week and was 105 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 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.

“U.S. Treasury rates stayed low last week, in part due to uncertainty over the prospects of additional pandemic-related government stimulus, as well as concerns about the continued rise in COVID-19 cases across the country. Mortgage rates as a result fell to another survey low, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping five basis points to 2.85 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Homeowners once again acted on the decline in rates, with refinance activity rising for the second straight week and up 105 percent from a year ago.”

Added Kan, “The ongoing strength in the housing market has carried into December. Applications to buy a home increased for the fourth time in five weeks, as both conventional and government segments of the market saw gains. Government purchase applications rose for the sixth straight week to the highest level since June – perhaps a sign that more first-time buyers are entering the market.”
...
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 2.85 percent from 2.90 percent, with points decreasing to 0.33 from 0.35 (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 26% year-over-year unadjusted.

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