Mortgage Applications Dip Among Higher Rates

Mortgage applications dropped 2.2 percent last week as mortgage rates continued to climb, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

MBA’s weekly survey found that the Refinance Index decreased 4 percent for the week ending March 12 – and was 39 percent lower than the same week a year ago. The Purchase Index was up 3 percent for the week and was 5 percent higher than a year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 62.9 percent of total applications from 64.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 2.7 percent of total applications.

“Mortgage application activity was mixed last week, as the run-up in rates continues to reduce incentives for potential refinance borrowers. The 30-year fixed rate increased to its highest level since June 2020, and all other surveyed rates were either flat or increased,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. 

“The purchase market helped offset the slump in refinances. Activity was up 5 percent from a year ago, as the recovering job market and demographic factors drive demand, despite ongoing supply and affordability constraints.”