Applications Drop Again

Mortgage loan application volume fell 0.7% last week, faring slightly better than the prior week’s 13.1% drop but continuing a trend down, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey shows.

The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped 0.7%. The adjusted purchase index fell 2%, while the unadjusted purchase index rose 1% and was 9% lower YOY.

The refinance index rose 1% and was down 56% YOY. Refinances made up 49.9% of total applications.

Rising mortgage rates continue to impact application activity. Mortgage rates reached 4.15% last week, their highest since 2019, and are driving refinance applications down.

“Although there was an increase in government refinance applications, higher rates continue to push potential refinance borrowers out of the market,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. 

“Purchase activity remained weak, but the average loan size increased again, which indicates that home-price growth remains strong, and a greater share of the activity is occurring at the higher end of the market.”

Luxury single-family home sales– the top 10% of any given market– increased 14.5% in 2021, with prices jumping 20.3% from 2020.

“As luxury real estate represents a larger percentage of the total housing market than ever before, it is absolutely crucial that luxury real estate professionals have a firm grasp of all factors influencing wealthy buyers and sellers today. The agent has become the affluent buyer’s connection point to new locations around the world,” said Liz Gehringer, President of Coldwell Banker Affiliate Business and Chief Operating Officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

The FHA share of total applications fell to 8.6% from 8.7%. The VA share of total applications rose to 10.2% from 9.9%, while the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.4%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances rose from 4.06% to 4.15%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances rose from 3.84% to 3.88%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA rose from 4.09% to 4.15%.