Mortgage Purchasing Activity Strengthens

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

The latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly application surveys shows a decline for refinancing and an increase for mortgage purchase loans.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate increased, averaging close to 3.3 percent for the month and was 3.27 percent for the week ending December 17. In the latest week, total mortgage applications, as proxied by the MBA’s Market Composite Index, decreased by 0.1 percent from the prior week, with the decline caused by a drop in refinancing.

While purchasing activity decreased by 3.3 percent , the past four weeks’ averaged activity is stronger than in weeks prior. And while homebuying has been modestly rising since the end of July, the current activity has yet to reach the levels seen at the beginning of this year. Meanwhile, mortgage refinancing continued its rapid decline, undoubtedly due to the recent rate increases.

While purchasing activity decreased by 3.3 percent , the past four weeks’ averaged activity is stronger than in weeks prior. And while homebuying has been modestly rising since the end of July, the current activity has yet to reach the levels seen at the beginning of this year. Meanwhile, mortgage refinancing continued its rapid decline, undoubtedly due to the recent rate increases.

On an unadjusted basis, the Purchasing Index in the latest week was 9 percent lower than what it was one year ago (year-over-year percent change for the same week) and its refinancing counterpart was 42 percent lower.

One of the recent developments in purchasing activity is the shift of homebuying to younger households who stand to benefit in a slightly cooler market. However, the last two weeks have shown consecutive increases in the average loan size. The latest week’s loan balance stood at $416,200, on record, while the previous week’s balance was over $400,000.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 65.2 percent of total applications from 63.3 percent the previous week, an anemic gain given the data of the prior month. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 3.4 percent of total applications.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: