Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 11, 2021)Mortgage applications increased 2.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 6, 2021. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.8 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 3 percent from the previous week and was 8 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 18 percent lower than the same week one year ago.  

"Mortgage applications rebounded last week, including an increase in purchase applications for the first time in nearly a month. Rates slightly rose but remained below 3 percent, driven by an end-of-week increase in the 10-year Treasury yield following the positive July jobs report," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Homeowners continue to respond to lower rates, with refinance activity climbing to the highest level since February 2021. The refinance share of loan counts was at 68 percent, compared to a 63.4 percent share for refinances by dollar volume, as purchase loans continue to see significantly higher loan sizes."  

Added Kan, "The higher level of purchase activity last week was driven by more government purchase applications, including a 3.3 percent increase in FHA loans. With low for-sale inventory keeping home-price appreciation in many markets at record highs, the jump in FHA purchase applications is potentially a sign that more first-time buyers are finding purchase options despite the high prices."  

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 68.0 percent of total applications from 67.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.2 percent of total applications.  

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 8.9 percent from 9.0 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 9.6 percent from 9.9 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 ($548,250 or less) increased to 2.99 percent from 2.97 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from  0.33 (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 $548,250) increased to 3.15 percent from 3.12 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.  

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.06 percent from 3.08 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 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 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.35 percent from 2.33 percent, with points increasing to 0.25 from 0.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.  

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.52 percent from 2.93 percent, with points decreasing to 0.15 from 0.20 (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.