Mortgage Activity Increases as Rates Fall for 5th Straight week

Per the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) survey through the week ending April 7th, total mortgage activity increased 5.3% from the previous week and the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate fell ten basis points to 6.30%. The FRM rate has fallen 41 basis points over the past month.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose by 5.3% on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis from one week earlier. Purchasing activity increased 7.8%, while refinancing activity increased 0.1% week-over-week.

Purchasing activity has risen over the past month as interest rates have fallen but the seasonally adjusted purchase index was 31.4% lower than one year ago. Refinancing activity has seen a slight uptick over the past month but will remain low as many who refinanced over a year ago locked into lower rates; the Refinancing Index is down 56.9% from one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell from 28.6% to 27.0% over the week, while the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity also decreased to 6.0% from 7.2%. The average loan size for purchases was $431,900 in the first week of April, up slightly from $430,500 over the month of March. The average loan size for a FRM surpassed the April 2022 level, up from $359,800 to $362,000 in the first week of April 2023. The average loan size for refinancing is well below the 2022 level, down from $288,500 to $267,700.

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