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Mortgage Apps Reverse Course With Refis Showing Signs Of Cooling

Navi Persaud
Mar 10, 2021
Mortgage Application

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey reported a 1.3% decline in mortgage applications compared to a week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Market Composite Index decreased 1%.

Additionally, the WMAS reported a 5% decrease in the Refinance Index from the previous week and a 43% decline for the same week in 2020. Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 7%. On an unadjusted basis, the Purchase Index increased 9% compared to the previous week and was 2% higher year-over-year.

"The 30-year fixed mortgage rate climbed to 3.26% last week, which is the highest since last July and up 40 basis points since the start of 2021. Signs of faster economic growth, an improving job market and increased vaccine distribution are pushing rates higher," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The run-up in mortgage rates continues to cool demand for refinance applications. Activity declined last week for the fourth time in five weeks."

"With the spring buying season at the doorstep, the purchase market had its strongest showing in four weeks, with gains in both conventional and government applications. Overall activity was 2.4% higher than a year ago, and loan sizes moderated for the second straight week - potentially a sign that more first-time buyers are entering the market," added Kan.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased from 67.5% to 64.5% and the adjustable-rate mortgage share increased to 3%.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 11.6% from 12.1% last week, the VA share of total applications decreased to 11.1% from 12.3% and the USDA share remained stagnant.

Click here to read more from the MBA's WMAS

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