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Mortgage Apps Down More Than 11 Percent

Navi Persaud
Feb 24, 2021
More people are seeking out mortgage applications, according to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) data for the week ending March 22

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey reported an 11.4% decrease in mortgage applications for the week ending Feb. 19, 2021. Last week, mortgage applications dipped by 5%.

The Refinance Index decreased 11% from the previous week but remained 50% higher year-over-year. The seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 12% from last week and the unadjusted Purchase Index showed an 8% decrease. The unadjusted Purchase Index was still 7% higher year-over-year despite the decline.

"Mortgage rates have increased in six of the last eight weeks, with the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate last week climbing above 3% to its highest level since September 2020. As a result of these higher rates, overall refinance activity fell 11% to its lowest level since December 2020, but remained 50% higher than a year ago," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Additionally, the severe winter weather in Texas affected many households and lenders, causing more than a 40% drop in both purchase and refinance applications in the state last week. The housing market in most of the country remains strong, with activity last week 7% higher than a year ago. The average loan size of purchase applications increased to a record $418,000, in line with the accelerating home-price growth caused by very low inventory levels."

According to the MBA's WMAS, the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 68.5% from 69.3% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 2.7% of total applications. Meanwhile, the FHA share of total applications increased to 11.2% from 9% last week, the VA share decreased to 11.9% from 13.2% and the USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.3%.

Click here to read more from the MBA's WMAS.

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