Mortgage Applications End August Down Slightly

Mortgage applications dipped ever so slightly in the last week of August but remained significantly higher than a year ago, according to the weekly survey released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Overall, applications were down 2 percent for the week ending August 28. Refinance applications were down 3 percent for the week but were still 40 percent higher than the same week a year ago, while purchase applications were down 0.2 percent for the week but 28 percent higher than 2019 levels.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 62.5 percent of total applications from 62.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 2.6 percent of total applications. 

“Both conventional and government refinancing activity decreased last week, despite 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgage rates declining to near historical lows. Mortgage rates have remained below 3.5 percent for five months now, and it’s possible that refinance demand may be slowing and will not significantly increase again without another notable drop in rates,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.