Spring Home-Buying Fervor in Latest MBA Survey


Over the last month, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) tracked 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate continued to show elevated levels. For the week ending April 16, the average rate was 3.2%.

For the same period, the MBA’s Market Composite Index (seasonally adjusted) underwent a series of declines, significantly tapering from its levels in March. It is only in the latest week’s activity that both Purchasing and Refinancing showed anemic gains, while still maintaining the downwards momentum.

In recent weeks, the MBA cited quicker home price growth and extremely low inventory as being factors constraining further activity in both Purchasing and Refinancing. Furthermore, these two factors were cited as particularly constraining in the lower-price home tiers.

On an unadjusted basis, the Purchasing Index showed a strong upswing in year-over-year activity in the last month, showing as much as a 57% gain, as was the case in the latest week. In contrast, the unadjusted Refinancing Index has been showing significant year-over-year declines in recent weeks, which were unseen through the pandemic as well as most of 2019. In fact, the latest weeks’ year-over-year declines in the unadjusted Refinancing Index were the first declines since March 2019.

Over the last month, the refinancing shares of total mortgage activity has quieted, with percentages hovering around 60%. In contrast, the shares of total mortgage activity taken up by Adjustable-rate Mortgages (ARMs) have seen weekly increases ranging from 20 to 50 basis points. These shares, however, remain under 4% of total mortgage activity.

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