Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 19, 2021)Mortgage applications increased 1.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 14, 2021. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week and was 2 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 2 percent higher than the same week one year ago.  

"Mortgage rates increased last week, with all loan types hitting their highest levels in two weeks. Rates were still lower than levels reported in late March and early April, providing additional opportunity for borrowers to refinance. Despite the 30-year fixed rate rising to 3.15 percent, applications for conventional and VA refinances increased. Ongoing volatility in refinance applications is likely if rates continue to oscillate around current levels," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "A decline in purchase applications was seen for both conventional and government loans. There continues to be strong demand for buying a home, but persistent supply shortages are constraining purchase activity, and building material shortages and higher costs are making it more difficult to increase supply. As a result, home prices and average purchase loan balances continue to rise, with the average purchase application reaching $411,400 - the highest since February."    

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.3 percent of total applications from 61.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3.9 percent of total applications.  

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.2 percent from 9.9 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.0 percent from 11.7 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) increased to 3.15 percent from 3.11 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from  0.32 (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 3.31 percent from 3.27 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 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 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.13 percent from 3.07 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 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 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.54 percent from 2.49 percent, with points increasing to 0.32 from 0.29 (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 2.58 percent from 2.57 percent, with points increasing to 0.25 from 0.22 (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.