Mortgage Application Activity Up 7.1%

WRE News March 17, 2024


Mortgage Application Activity Up 7.1%

Mortgage application activity was up again in the latest data published by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The Market Composite Index, the MBA’s measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended March 8 compared to the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 8% compared with the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5% from one week earlier and the unadjusted index increased 6% – the latter was also 11% lower than the same week one year ago. The Refinance Index increased 12% from the previous week and was 5% higher than the same week one year ago, while the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 31.6% of total applications from 30.2% in the previous week.

Among the federal programs the FHA share of total applications decreased to 12.0% from 12.7% the week prior while the VA share of total applications increased to 12.2% from 11.4% and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.5%.

Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist, observed, “Purchase application volume increased for the week but remains about 11% below last year’s level. By contrast, refinance volume picked up by 12%, with a larger 24% increase in the government refinance index. While these percentage increases are large, the level of refinance activity remains quite low, and we expect that most of this activity reflects borrowers who took out a loan at or near the peak of rates in the past two years.”

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