Mortgage applications decrease over last week of 2021

MBA reveals results of weekly mortgage application survey

Mortgage applications decrease over last week of 2021

Mortgage applications decreased over the last week of 2021, according to recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

MBA’s latest weekly mortgage applications survey revealed that mortgage applications for the week ending December 31, 2021, decreased 2.7% from two weeks earlier.

Read more: Revealed – what's happened to purchase mortgage applications?

“Mortgage rates continued to creep higher over the past two weeks, as markets maintained an optimistic view of the economy,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at MBA. “The 30-year fixed rate increased six basis points to 3.33% – the highest since April 2021. The higher rates to close 2021 caused refinance activity to decrease 2.2%. Refinance demand continues to dwindle, as many borrowers refinanced in 2020, and in early 2021 – when mortgage rates were around 40 basis points lower.”

Kan added that the purchase market “also finished the year on a slower note, with the final week coming in at the weakest since October 2021.

“Even though average loan sizes were lower, home-price appreciation remains at very high levels,” said Kan. “Despite supply and affordability challenges, 2021 was a record year for purchase originations. MBA expects 2022 to be even stronger, with total purchase activity reaching $1.74 trillion.”

MBA figures also showed that the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 65.4% of total applications from 63.9% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.3% of total applications.

Meanwhile, the FHA share of total applications increased to 9.2% from 8.5% the week prior; the VA share of total applications decreased to 11.3% from 11.4% the week prior; and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.4% the week prior.