Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

CONTACT
Adam DeSanctis
adesanctis@mba.org
(202) 557-2727

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 15, 2021)Mortgage applications decreased 4.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 10, 2021. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 6 percent from the previous week and was 41 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 9 percent lower than the same week one year ago.  

"Applications to refinance fell over the week, despite the 30-year fixed rate remaining at 3.30 percent. With rates more than 40 basis points higher than last year, applications were down 41 percent on an annual basis. Fewer homeowners have a strong incentive to refinance at current rates," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Purchase activity increased slightly, as a 1.7 percent rise in conventional applications offset a 1.6 percent decline in applications for government loans. The strength in conventional purchase activity continues to support higher loan balances, which moved back over $400,000. Housing demand remains strong as the year comes to an end amidst tight inventory and steep home-price growth."    

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 63.3 percent of total applications from 63.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3.4 percent of total applications.  

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.6 percent from 9.9 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.6 percent from 10.7 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) remained unchanged at 3.30 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.  

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.32 percent from 3.33 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.30 (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 increased to 3.37 percent from 3.35 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.58 percent from 2.62 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 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 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.75 percent from 2.98 percent, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.  

Please Note: MBA's office will be closed Friday, December 24, 2021, and will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2022. Due to the holiday, the results for the weeks ending December 24, 2021, and December 31, 2021, will be released on January 5, 2022. 

  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.