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Mortgage Applications Decrease 6.5%; Refinancing Down 10%

Navi Persaud
Aug 26, 2020
An uptick in refinancing helped to boost mortgage applications during the week ending Sept. 27, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association

The Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey reported a 6.5% decline in mortgage applications from a week earlier, for the week ending Aug. 21, 2020. On an unadjusted basis, mortgage applications fell 7%.

The report revealed that the refinance index decreased by 10% from the previous week, however, it was still 34% higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 0.4% from one week earlier, while the seasonally unadjusted purchase index decreased 2%, according to the report.

“Mortgage rates were mixed last week, but the rates for 30-year fixed mortgages and 15-year fixed mortgages declined. Despite the lower rates, conventional refinance applications fell 11 percent and government refinance applications fell 6%, which pushed the total refinance index to its lowest weekly level since July,” said Joel Kan, Mortgage Bankers Association’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “The home purchase market remains a bright spot for the overall economy. Purchase applications were essentially unchanged but were 33% higher than a year ago – the 14th straight week of year-over-year gains. Mortgage rates at record lows and households looking for more space are driving this summer’s surge in demand.”

The MBA's survey also reported that the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 62.6% of total applications, the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 2.6%, the FHA share increased to 10.5% and the VA share of total mortgage activity increased to 11.8%.

Read more from the MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey

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