Mortgage Application Activity Sinks To 28-Year Low

WRE News October 20, 2023


Mortgage Application Activity Sinks To 28-Year Low

Mortgage application activity plummeted to a 28-year low, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) covering the week ending Oct. 13.

The Market Composite Index, the trade group’s measure of mortgage loan application volume, slumped by 6.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index was down 7%.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6% from one week earlier while the unadjusted index was down by 5% and was also 21% lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index fell 10% from the previous week and was 12% lower than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 30.5% of total applications from 31.6% during the previous week.

Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications increased to 14.8% from 14.4% in the previous week while the VA share of total applications increased to 10.7% from 10.2% the week prior and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.5%.

“Applications decreased to their lowest level since 1995, as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased for the sixth consecutive week to 7.70% – the highest level since November 2000,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist, who also noted, “The ARM share was 9.3%, the highest share in 11 months, as some borrowers look for alternative ways to lower their monthly payments. Refinance activity was at its lowest level since early 2023. There is very limited refinance incentive with mortgage rates at multi-decade highs.”

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