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MBA: Mortgage Applications Fall Again

Sarah Wolak
Dec 07, 2022
mortgage application

The latest survey showed mortgage applications decreased 1.9% from last week.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier.
  • On an unadjusted basis, the index increased by 36% from the previous week. 
  • The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3% from a week earlier, while the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 31%.

Mortgage applications fell last week from a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 2, 2022.

The prior week’s results included an adjustment for the observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Market Composite Index — a measure of mortgage loan application volume — decreased 1.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from a aweek earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased by 36% from the previous week. 

Additionally, the Refinance Index increased 5% from the previous week and was 86% lower than the same week last year. 

“Mortgage applications decreased 2% compared to the Thanksgiving holiday-adjusted results from the previous week, even as mortgage rates continued to trend lower,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist. "Rates decreased for most loan products, with the 30-year fixed declining 8 basis points to 6.41% after reaching 7.16% in October. The 30-year fixed rate was 73 basis points lower than a month ago — but was still more than 3 percentage points higher than in December 2021. Additionally, the pace of refinancing remained around 80% lower than a year ago.”

The survey also revealed that the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3% from a week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased by 31% compared with the previous week and was 40% lower than the same week last year.

“Purchase activity slowed last week, with a drop in conventional purchase applications partially offset by an increase in FHA and USDA loan applications," Kan said. "The average loan size for purchase applications decreased to $387,300 — its lowest level since January 2021. The decrease was consistent with slightly stronger government applications and a rapidly cooling home-price environment.”

According to the survey, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 28.7% of total applications from 26.1% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.6% of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications also increased, rising to 13.7% from 12.2% the previous week. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.4% from 11.2% last week. The USDA share of total applications increased just slightly to 0.6% from 0.5% the week prior.

Other highlights:

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) decreased to 6.41% from 6.49%, with points decreasing to 0.63 from 0.68. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $647,200) decreased to 6.08% from 6.35%, with points decreasing to 0.5 from 0.61.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 6.39% from 6.57%, with points decreasing to 0.93 from 1.14.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.84% from 6.02%, with points decreasing to 0.55 from 0.69.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 5.59% from 5.48%, with points increasing to 0.91 from 0.89.
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