Mortgage Applications Decreased Over a Two-Week Period in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 6, 2021)Mortgage applications decreased 4.2 percent from two weeks earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 1, 2021. The results include adjustments to account for the holidays. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 33 percent compared with two weeks ago. The holiday adjusted Refinance Index decreased 6 percent from two weeks ago. The unadjusted Refinance Index was 34 percent lower than two weeks ago and was 100 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.8 percent from two weeks ago. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 30 percent compared with two weeks earlier and was 3 percent higher than the same week one year ago.  

"Mortgage rates started 2021 close to record lows, most notably with the 30-year fixed rate at 2.86 percent, and the 15-year fixed rate at a survey low of 2.40 percent. The record-low rates for fixed-rate mortgages is good news for borrowers looking to refinance or buy a home, as around 98 percent of all applications are for fixed-rate loans," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Despite these low rates, overall application activity fell sharply during the holiday period - which is typical every year. Refinance applications were 6 percent lower than two weeks ago, and purchase activity less than 1 percent from its pre-holiday level."  

Added Kan, "The steady demand for home buying throughout most of 2020 should continue in 2021. MBA is forecasting for purchase originations to rise to $1.59 trillion this year - an all-time high."  

While the index changes were calculated relative to two weeks prior, the following compositional and rate measures are presented relative to the previous week. 

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged from 10.1 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 13.6 percent from 12.1 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased to 2.86 percent from 2.90 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from  0.31 (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 $510,400) decreased to 3.08 percent from 3.09 percent, with points increasing to 0.32 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 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.40 percent from 2.42 percent, with points increasing to 0.29 from 0.28 (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 2.63 percent from 2.57 percent, with points decreasing to 0.41 from 0.50 (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.