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MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications Increased in Weekly Survey


by Calculated Risk on 3/08/2023 07:00:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 7.4 percent from one week
earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications
Survey for the week ending March 3, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.4 percent on
a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 9
percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 9 percent from the previous
week and was 76 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase
Index increased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent
compared with the previous week and was 42 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates continued to increase last week. The 30-year fixed rate rose to 6.79 percent – the highest
level since November 2022 and 270 basis points higher than a year ago,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice
President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Even with higher rates, there was an uptick in applications last
week, but this was in comparison to two weeks of declines to very low levels, including a holiday week.
Comparing the application indices from a year ago, purchase applications were still down 42 percent, and
refinance activity was down 76 percent. Many borrowers are waiting on the sidelines for rates to come
back down.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances
($726,200 or less) increased to 6.79 percent from 6.71 percent, with points increasing to 0.80 from 0.77
(including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added

Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

With higher mortgage rates, the refinance index declined sharply in 2022.
Other than the lows in Q4 of 2022 and early this year, the refinance index was at the lowest level since the year 2000.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 42% year-over-year unadjusted.
Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).
Note: The MBA revised data for the last 7 weeks (fairly minor revisions).

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