Mortgage Applications Dipped For a Second Week But Remain Up From a Year Ago

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Mortgage application volume dipped 0.3% on an adjusted basis during the week ended Nov. 13, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey.

Applications for refinances fell 2%, on slightly higher rates, while applications for purchases increased 4%.

It was the second consecutive week that total mortgage application volume fell.

On an unadjusted basis, total volume decreased 2% with the previous week.

Although applications for refinances fell week-over-week, they were nonetheless up 98% compared with a year ago.

Applications for purchases were up 26% compared with a year ago.   

“Mortgage market activity was mixed last week, despite the 30-year fixed rate mortgage staying below three percent,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “The purchase market recovered from its recent weekly slump, with activity increasing 3 percent and climbing above year-ago levels for the 26th straight week. Housing demand remains supported by the ongoing recovery in the job market, and an increased appetite from households seeking more space because of the pandemic.

“The refinance index decreased last week – driven by sharp declines in FHA and VA applications – but remained a robust 98 percent above a year ago,” Kan adds. “The average refinance loan balance of $291,000 last week was the lowest since January. Many borrowers with higher loan balances may have acted earlier on in the current refinance wave.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 69.8% of total applications, down from 70.0% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 1.9% of total applications.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.99%, up slightly from 2.98%.

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