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The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey reported a 2% decrease in mortgage applications on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Aug. 28, 2020. On an unadjusted basis, the index decreased by 3% compared to the previous week.
The refinance index decreased 3% from the previous week but remained 40% higher than the same week in 2019. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 0.2% and the unadjusted purchase index decreased by 3% compared with the previous week, 28% higher than the same week one year ago.
"Both conventional and government refinancing activity decreased last week, despite 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgage rates declining to near historical lows. Mortgage rates have remained below 3.5% for five months now, and it's possible that refinance demand may be slowing and will not significantly increase again without another notable drop in rates," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. "Purchase applications were essentially unchanged over the week and were 28% higher than a year ago - the 15th straight week of year-over-year increases. Lenders are reporting that the strong demand for home buying is coming from delayed activity from the spring, as well as households seeking more space in less densely populated areas."
The refinance share of total mortgage activity slightly decreased to 62.5% from 62.6% in the previous week, the adjustable-rate mortgage share remained stagnant at 2.6%, the FHA share decreased to 10.2% from 10.5% the previous week, the VA share decreased to 11.4% from 11.8% and the USDA share remained stagnant at 0.6%, according to the report.
View the MBA's full Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.