Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 4, 2020)Mortgage applications increased 3.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 30, 2020.   

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 6 percent from the previous week and was 88 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 25 percent higher than the same week one year ago.   

"Mortgage rates continue to hover at record lows this fall. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate remained essentially unchanged at 3.01 percent last week, but rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans, FHA loans and jumbo loans all fell to new MBA survey lows," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The drop in rates spurred an uptick in demand for refinances. Activity increased over 6 percent, with borrowers notably seeking conventional and government loans. After a solid stretch of purchase applications growth, activity decreased for the fifth time in six weeks, but was still over 25 percent higher than a year ago, and has increased year-over-year for six straight months. 2020 continues to overall be a strong year for the housing market."  

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 68.7 percent of total applications from 66.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 2.1 percent of total applications. 

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 11.1 percent from 11.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.2 percent from 11.4 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.5 percent the week prior.   

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 3.01 percent from 3.00 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from  0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent 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 $510,400) decreased to 3.18 percent from 3.28 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.    

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.08 percent from 3.14 percent, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.   

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.55 percent from 2.60 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.   

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.67 percent from 3.05 percent, with points decreasing to 0.52 from 0.64 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.    

If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA's Weekly Applications Survey, please visit www.mba.org/WeeklyApps or contact mbaresearch@mba.org

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.