Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 22, 2021)Mortgage applications decreased 0.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 17, 2021. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week and was 42 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week and was 9 percent lower than the same week one year ago.  

"Mortgage applications fell last week, driven by a 3 percent decline in purchase applications. Both conventional and government purchase applications were down, while the average purchase loan increased for the second straight week to $416,200 - the second highest amount ever. The elevated loan size is an indication that activity is more on the higher end of the market," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Home-price appreciation growth remains faster than historical averages and inventory, particularly for starter homes, continues to trail strong demand."

Added Kan, "The 30-year fixed rate decreased to 3.27 percent - its lowest level in four weeks - and helped spur an increase in refinances across all loan types. FHA and VA refinances jumped 4 percent and 12 percent, respectively."

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 65.2 percent of total applications from 63.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 3.4 percent of total applications.  

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged to 9.6 percent from 9.6 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.5 percent from 10.6 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4 percent 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) decreased to 3.27 percent from 3.30 percent, with points increasing to 0.41 from 0.39 (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 3.31 percent from 3.32 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 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 decreased to 3.34 percent from 3.37 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 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 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.59 percent from 2.58 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.34 (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 increased to 2.79 percent from 2.75 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased 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.