Mortgage Application Activity Down By 5.6%

WRE News March 2, 2024


Mortgage Application Activity Down By 5.6%

Fewer people were seeking out mortgage applications, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending Feb. 23.

The Market Composite Index, the MBA’s measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped by 5.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier while the unadjusted index took a 3% dip.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5% from one week earlier and the unadjusted index was lower by 1% for the same period – the latter was also 12% lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index decreased 7% from the previous week and was 1% lower than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 31.2% of total applications from 32.6% in the previous week.

Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications took a mild downturn to 13% from 13.2% the week prior while the VA share of total applications decreased to 11.7% from 12.1% and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.5%.

Separately, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported U.S. home prices were up 6.5% year-over-year during the fourth quarter of 2023. Prices were also up by 1.5% from the third quarter.

During the fourth quarter, prices rose from one year ago in 49 states – the only markets with annual price depreciation were Hawaii (-3.4%) and the District of Columbia (-1.2%).

“U.S. house prices increased modestly over the course of 2023,” said Dr. Anju Vajja, acting deputy director for FHFA’s Division of Research and Statistics. “However, the market showed signs of softening as house price appreciation was lower in the fourth quarter of the year than in the previous quarter.”

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