US mortgage applications fall back after double-digit jump

MBA's latest weekly mortgage applications survey released

US mortgage applications fall back after double-digit jump

Overall mortgage applications slid back by more than 8% for the week ending February 04 after a double-digit gain the previous week, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed.

The latest MBA survey pointed to an 8.1% seasonally adjusted decline in mortgage loan application volume. Unadjusted, applications dropped 6% week over week.

“Mortgage rates continued to edge higher last week, with the 30-year fixed-rate climbing to 3.83%,” said Joel Kan, AVP of economic and industry forecasting at MBA. “Rates followed the US 10-year yield and other sovereign bonds as the Federal Reserve, and other key global central banks responded to growing inflationary pressures and signaled that they will start to remove accommodative policies.”

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The refinance index was down 7% from the week before and was 52% lower than the same period a year ago. The seasonally adjusted purchase index saw a 10% week-over-week decline and was 12% lower than the same week in 2021.

“With rates 87 basis points higher than the same week a year ago, refinance applications continued to decrease,” Kan added. “Purchase activity slowed after the previous week’s gain. Both conventional and FHA purchase applications saw proportional declines, resulting in purchase activity overall dropping 10%. The average loan size again hit another record high at $446,000. Activity continues to be dominated by larger loan balances, as inventory remains tight for entry-level buyers.” 

The refinance share of mortgage activity shrank to 56.2% of total applications from 57.3%, while the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity held steady at 4.5% of total applications.