Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

(Image courtesy of Cytonn Photography/Pexels.com)

Mortgage applications increased 3.7% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Feb. 2, 2024. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 8% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 12% from the previous week and was 1% higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 6% compared with the previous week and was 19% lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates have stayed close to where they started the year, despite swings in Treasury yields because of slowing inflation offset by stronger than expected readings on the job market. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.8%, a slight increase from last week,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Rates at these levels have not prompted much of a reaction in the refinance market, as most homeowners have mortgages with much lower rates. Purchase activity has been strong to start 2024 compared to the final quarter of 2023. However, activity is still weaker than a year ago because of low housing supply.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 35.4% of total applications from 34.2% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.4% of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 13.1% from 13.8% the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 14.1% from 13.3% the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.4% from the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) increased to 6.8% from 6.78%, with points decreasing to 0.59 from 0.65 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $726,200) decreased to 6.88% from 6.94%, with points increasing to 0.47 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 6.57% from 6.61%, with points increasing to 0.84 from 0.79 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.41% from 6.34%, with points increasing to 0.71 from 0.53 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 6.14% from 6.23%, with points decreasing to 0.48 from 0.59 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please visit www.mba.org/WeeklyApps, contact mbaresearch@mba.org or click here.

The survey covers over 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.