Mortgage Applications Dip After Holiday

Mortgage applications dropped slightly last week, while remaining significantly higher than 2019 levels, according to a report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

For the week ending December 4, applications overall decreased 1.2 percent. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent for the week and was 89 percent higher than a year ago, while the Purchase Index decreased 5 percent – and was 22 percent higher than the same week a year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 72 percent of total applications from 69.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 1.7 percent of total applications.

“Refinance activity increased last week in response to mortgage rates for 30-year, 15-year, and FHA loans hitting their lowest levels in MBA’s survey. The increase in refinance applications was driven by FHA and VA refinances, while conventional activity fell slightly. The ongoing refinance wave has continued through the fall, with activity last week up 89 percent from a year ago,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The purchase market is also poised to finish 2020 on a strong note.”