Mortgage Application Volume Declines


In the latest tally of mortgage activity, for the week ending November 29, 2019, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Application Survey showed a 7.5% drop from the previous week in conventional mortgage activity, which includes both purchases and refinances, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Overall, the market composite index, which includes conventional mortgages, saw a 9.2% increase on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier, with a 1% increase in purchase activity and 16% decrease in refinance activity. The tally includes an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday, which occurred a week later than it did the previous year. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged from the previous week at 3.97%, influenced by flat U.S. Treasury Rates.

The above figure shows the weekly percentage changes in the application volume by loan, also broken down into purchase and refinance application categories. Generally, refinance and purchase applications have moved in tandem, responding to macroeconomic events, with refinance activity changes appearing to be more heightened than changes in weekly purchasing activity. As of the most recent week of data, total application volume declined by 38% on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, with purchasing and refinancing volumes declining by 33% and 41%, respectively. The Mortgage Bankers Association further elaborates on the events that could have contributed to the latest weekly decline.

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