According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 19, mortgage applications decreased 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.
The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week and was 13 percent lower than the same week one year ago, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 26 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 3.36 percent last week and has now risen 50 basis points since the beginning of the year, in turn, shutting off refinance incentives for many borrowers,” explains the MBA’s Joel Kan. “Refinance activity dropped to its slowest pace since September 2020, with declines in both conventional and government applications.”
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.9 percent of total applications, from 62.9 percent the previous week.
“Purchase applications were strong over the week, driven both by households seeking more living space and younger households looking to enter homeownership,” Kan adds.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3.2 percent of total applications. The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged from 11.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 9.8 percent from 10.3 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.4 percent the week prior.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.36 percent from 3.28 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.72 percent from 2.67 percent, with points increasing to 0.40 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.