Applications Increase In Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 1.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 19, 2021. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 0.1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 0.4 percent from the previous week and was 34 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.4 percent compared with the previous week and was 4 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“The financial markets continue to discern the Federal Reserve’s policy path in the coming months in light of the current high growth, high inflation environment. Despite a fair amount of rate volatility last week, mortgage rates were higher, with the 30-year fixed rate increasing 4 basis points to 3.24 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Despite the increase in rates, refinance applications rose slightly, driven by a 2 percent gain in conventional refinances. Borrowers continue to lock in mortgages in anticipation of higher rates in the future. Refinance applications were still more than 30 percent below a year ago, when the 30-year fixed rate was 32 basis points lower.”

Added Kan, “Purchase activity increased for the third straight week, as housing demand remains robust, even as the housing market approaches the typically slower holiday season. Both conventional and government loan applications increased, and the average loan size for a purchase loan was at $407,200, continuing its ongoing 2021 run of being mostly above $400,000.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.1 percent of total applications from 62.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3.4 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 8.6 percent from 8.9 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.3 percent from 10.8 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.24 percent from 3.20 percent, with points decreasing to 0.36 from  0.43 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.  The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) increased to 3.28 percent from 3.26 percent, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.27 percent from 3.23 percent, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.59 percent from 2.56 percent, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.00 percent from 2.89 percent, with points increasing to 0.32 from 0.16 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.