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MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey


by Calculated Risk on 5/25/2022 07:00:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 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 20, 2022.

… The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous
week and was 75 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 0.2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent
compared with the previous week and was 16 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“The 30-year fixed rate declined for the second straight week to 5.46 percent but remains well above what
borrowers were used to over the past two years. Most refinance borrowers continue to remain on the
sidelines as a result, and refinance applications have fallen in nine of the past 10 weeks. Compared to
January 2022, refinance activity is down 66 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of
Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Higher mortgage rates are also impacting purchase market
conditions, as the purchase index remained close to lows last seen in the spring of 2020 when a
significant portion of activity was put on hold due to the onset of the pandemic. Currently, higher rates,
low inventory, and high prices are keeping prospective buyers out of the market.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 32.3 percent of total applications from 33.0 percent
the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 9.4 percent of total

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($647,200 or less) decreased to 5.46 percent from 5.49 percent, with points decreasing to 0.60 from 0.74
(including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added

Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

With higher mortgage rates, the refinance index has declined sharply over the last several months.
The refinance index is at the lowest level since December 2018.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 16% year-over-year unadjusted.

Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).

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