Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
adesanctis@mba.org
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2021)Mortgage applications decreased 2.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 23, 2021. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent from the previous week and was 18 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 34 percent higher than the same week one year ago.  

"Mortgage applications decreased last week, even as mortgage rates dropped for the third week in a row. The 30-year fixed rate was down 3 basis points to 3.17 percent, which is still 32 basis points higher than the low reported in December 2020. Even with a few weeks of lower rates, most borrowers have likely already refinanced, which is why activity has decreased in seven of the last eight weeks," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The purchase market's recent slide comes despite a strengthening economy and labor market. Activity is still above year-ago levels, but accelerating home-price growth and low inventory has led to a decline in purchase applications in four of the last five weeks."  

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 60.6 percent of total applications from 60.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.5 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.7 percent from 11.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.2 percent from 11.5 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.17 percent from 3.20 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from  0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.  

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.28 percent from 3.34 percent, with points increasing to 0.30 from 0.29 (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 3.12 percent from 3.15 percent, with points decreasing to 0.24 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 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.55 percent from 2.65 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.41 (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 2.59 percent from 2.67 percent, with points decreasing to 0.47 from 0.52 (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, contact mbaresearch@mba.org or click here.  

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.