Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 6, 2021)Mortgage applications decreased 6.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 1, 2021. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 6.9 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 decreased 10 percent from the previous week and was 16 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 13 percent lower than the same week one year ago.  

"Mortgage applications to refinance dropped almost 10 percent last week to the lowest level in three months, as the 30-year fixed rate increased to 3.14 percent - the highest since July. Higher rates are reducing borrowers' incentive to refinance, as declines were seen across all loan types," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Purchase activity also fell, driven by a drop in conventional loan applications. Government purchase applications were up over 1 percent, but that was still not enough to bring down the average loan balance of $410,000. With home-price appreciation and sales prices remaining very elevated, applications for higher balance, conventional loans still dominate the mix of activity."  

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 64.5 percent of total applications from 66.4 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 increased to 10.5 percent from 10.4 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.3 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.5 percent from 0.4 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 3.14 percent from 3.10 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from  0.34 (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 3.20 percent from 3.14 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.33 (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 3.12 percent from 3.09 percent, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.25 (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 2.45 percent from 2.43 percent, with points decreasing to 0.24 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 decreased to 2.54 percent from 2.77 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.16 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased 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.