Year-over-Year Gains for Home Purchases Continue


The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Weekly Application Survey shows that, for the week ending December 11, 2020, mortgage application activity decreased by 1.1% from the prior week on a seasonally adjusted basis, as indicated by its Market Composite Index. One of its two constituent indexes, the Purchasing Index, increased by 1.8% from the previous week while the other, the Refinance Index, increased by 1.4%.

The MBA’s tracked 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate measure decreased by 7 basis points from two weeks prior to 2.85%, a new record low for the series. It declined by 5 basis points just in the last week, reacting strongly to the sluggishness of Treasury rates over the same period.

Year-over-year gains for Purchasing and Refinancing, that is, the percentage gains in the index levels compared to the same week one year ago, continue to show strength at 26% and 105%, respectively. Interestingly, on a four-week, moving average basis, year-over-year gains in Purchasing have been trending higher since the beginning of the year. The last four weeks’ of Purchasing activity attest to that upward trend.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 72.7 percent of total applications from 72.0 percent the previous week. On a volume-by-dollar basis, the share of the same type of mortgage activity increased from the previous week by 40 basis points to 68.1% of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 1.8 percent of total applications.

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