Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 21, 2021)Mortgage applications increased 8.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 16, 2021. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 8.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 10 percent from the previous week and was 23 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 7 percent compared with the previous week and was 57 percent higher than the same week one year ago.  

"Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest levels in around two months, prompting a small resurgence in refinance activity after six weeks of declines. Borrowers acted on the decrease in rates for most loan types, with both conventional and government refinance applications showing gains," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The spring housing market also saw a boost from lower rates, with purchase applications - driven by a jump in conventional applications - increasing over 5 percent. MBA expects the purchase market to remain strong, with the recovering job market and supportive demographics fueling housing demand in the months ahead."    

Added Kan, "The average loan size for purchase applications increased after a few weeks of declines, as fewer homes available for sale make for a competitive buying market that is accelerating home-price growth."  

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 60.0 percent of total applications from 59.2 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 3.6 percent of total applications.  

The FHA share of total applications increased to 11.3 percent from 10.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.5 percent from 12.1 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 3.20 percent from 3.27 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from  0.33 (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 3.34 percent from 3.35 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.34 (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 3.15 percent from 3.24 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.40 (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 2.65 percent from 2.67 percent, with points decreasing to 0.41 from 0.44 (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 increased to 2.67 percent from 2.60 percent, with points increasing to 0.52 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased 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.