Mortgage Applications Up 1.6% Last Week

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports mortgage applications increased 1.6 percent during the week ending August 20, 2021.

They also report the Refinance Index increased 1 percent from the previous week and was 3 percent higher than the same week one year ago. Refis accounted for 67.3 percent of total applications, no change from the week before, while adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.1 percent of total applications.  

Lower rates led to an increase in refinance applications, with government loan applications jumping 10 percent to the highest level since May 2021,” said MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan.

As for the housing market as a whole, Kan says there may be signs of cooling. “There was some easing in average loan sizes, which is potentially a sign that more first-time buyers looking for lower-priced homes are being helped by the recent uptick in for-sale inventory for both newly built homes and existing homes.”

The average interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped slightly for both conforming and jumbo loans from 3.06 to 3.03 percent for the former and 3.19 to 3.13 percent for the latter.

The MBA’s survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990.