Wednesday, April 14, 2021

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 4/14/2021 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 3.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 9, 2021.

... The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week and was 31 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 51 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

Purchase and refinance applications declined, with most of the pullback coming earlier in the week when rates were higher. Treasury yields started last week high – close to the prior week’s level at over 1.7 percent – before decreasing 6 basis points,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Refinance activity has now decreased for nine of the past 10 weeks, as rates have gone from 2.92 percent to 3.27 percent over the same period. Last week’s index level was the lowest in over a year, as mortgage rates continue to trend higher. Many borrowers have either already refinanced at lower rates or are unwilling – or unable – to refinance at current rates.”

Added Kan, “The third straight week of declining purchase activity is a sign that rising home prices and tight supply is constraining home sales – especially in the lower price tiers. Purchase applications were still above last year’s pandemic-impacted low point, but fell behind the level of activity seen the same week in 2019.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.27 percent from 3.36 percent, with points decreasing to 0.33 from 0.43 (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.

With low rates, the index remains elevated, but falling since rates are above the lows.

The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

Mortgage Purchase Index According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 51% year-over-year unadjusted.

Note: Until the 2nd half of May, the MBA index will be up sharply year-over-year since purchase activity collapsed in late March 2020 in the early weeks of the pandemic.

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