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Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

David Krechevsky
Oct 21, 2021
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Mortgage applications decreased 6.3% from a week earlier, while refinance applications were down for the fourth week in a row.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Home purchase activity declined 12% from a year earlier, while refinancing applications fell as rates rose.

Mortgage applications decreased 6.3% from one week earlier, while refinance applications were down for the fourth week in a row, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Oct. 15, 2021.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 6.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index decreased 6% compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index also decreased, falling 7% from the previous week and 22% from the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5% from one week earlier. Unadjusted, the Purchase Index decreased 5% compared with the previous week and was down 12% from the same week last year. 

"Refinance applications declined for the fourth week as rates increased, bringing the Refinance Index to its lowest level since July 2021,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “The 30-year fixed rate has increased 20 basis points over the past month and reached 3.23 percent last week — the highest since April 2021.”

Kan said the 15-year fixed rate also increased, to 2.54%, it’s highest level since July.

"Purchase activity declined and was 12% lower than a year ago, within the annual comparison range that it has been over the past six weeks,” he said. “Insufficient housing supply and elevated home-price growth continue to limit options for would-be buyers." 

MBA said the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 63.3% of total applications, from 63.9%  the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.3% of total applications. 

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged from 10.2% the week prior. The VA hare of total applications increased to 10.4% from 10.2% the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.5% from 0.4% a week earlier.

The survey covers over 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990.

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