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Mortgage Applications Increase In Latest MBA Weekly Survey

David Krechevsky
Sep 16, 2021

Seasonally Adjusted, The Market Composite Index Rose Just 0.3%

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • MBA economist says purchase applications increased to their highest level since April 2021.
  • Still competitive purchase market continues to put upward pressure on sales prices.

Mortgage applications increased just 0.3% from a week earlier for the week ending Sept. 10, 2021, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. The week's results include an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

The 0.3% increase in the Market Composite Index, which measures mortgage loan application volume, was also adjusted for seasonal variations. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 10% compared with the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8% from a week earlier, while the unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 5% compared with the previous week, and was 12% lower than the same week last year. 

"Purchase applications — after adjusting for the impact of Labor Day — increased over 7% last week to their highest level since April 2021,” said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Compared to the same week last September, which was right in the middle of a significant upswing in home purchases, applications were down 11 percent — the smallest year-over-year decline in 14 weeks."

Kan said that both conventional and government purchase applications increased, and that the average loan size for a purchase application rose to $396,800. “The very competitive purchase market continues to put upward pressure on sales prices," he said. 

The Refinance Index, meanwhile, decreased 3% from the previous week and was 3% lower than the same week last year.

Kan said that while the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate was unchanged at just over 3%, it was not enough to drive more refinance activity. “Refinance applications slipped to their slowest pace since early July, and the refinance share of applications fell to 65 percent, which was also the lowest since July," he said. 

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 64.9% of total applications from 66.8% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity, however, increased to 3.3% of total applications. 

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.9%, from 10.9% the previous week. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.2% from 10.4% the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4% from 0.5% a week earlier. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) remained unchanged at 3.03%, with points decreasing to 0.32 from  0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.13% from 3.14%, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from the prior week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.04% from 3.07%, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week. 

For more information on MBA's Weekly Applications Survey, please visit www.mba.org/WeeklyApps.

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