Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Falen Taylor
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 14, 2021)Mortgage applications increased 16.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 9, 2021. This week's results include an adjustment for the Fourth of July holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 16.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 7 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 20 percent from the previous week and was 29 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 13 percent compared with the previous week and was 29 percent lower than the same week one year ago.  

"Overall applications climbed last week, driven heavily by increased refinancing as rates dipped again. Treasury yields have trended lower over the past month as investors remained concerned about the COVID-19 variant and slowing economic growth," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Mortgage rates fell for the second consecutive week as a result, with the 30-year fixed rate hitting 3.09 percent, its lowest level since February 2021. Refinance applications increased over 20 percent last week after adjusting for the July 4th holiday, aided by a 23 percent increase in conventional refinance applications. Also, there may have been a delayed spillover of applications from the previous week, when rates also decreased, but there was not much of response in terms of refinance applications."  

Added Kan: "Purchase applications increased last week, but average loan sizes decreased to their lowest level since January 2021. We continue to see ebbs and flows as housing demand remains strong but for-sale inventory remains low. However, lower rates may be helping some home buyers close on their purchases, especially first-time home buyers. The year-over-year comparisons were down significantly for both purchase and refinance applications, as they were relative to a non-holiday week in 2020."  

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 64.1 percent of total applications from 61.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3.5 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.5 percent from 9.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.3 percent from 10.8 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) decreased to 3.09 percent from 3.15 percent, with points decreasing to 0.37 from  0.38 (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 3.16 percent from 3.20 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 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 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.15 percent from 3.17 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.32 (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 2.48 percent from 2.52 percent, with points increasing to 0.32 from 0.23 (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 3.02 percent from 2.94 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.  

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.