Mortgage applications fall amid market jitters

Mortgage applications decreased 4% for the week ending July 16, just one week after applications jumped 16% on the strength of falling mortgage rates.

The 10-year Treasury yield dropped sharply last week, in part due to investors becoming more concerned about the spread of COVID variants and their impact on global economic growth, according to the latest survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This, in turn, led to mixed changes in mortgage rates.

“The 30-year fixed rate increased slightly to 3.11% after two weeks of declines, and other surveyed rates moved lower, with the 15-year fixed rate loan — used by around 20% of refinance borrowers — decreasing to 2.46%,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “That’s the lowest level since January 2021.”

Kan added that, on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the July 4th holiday week, purchase applications dipped back to near their lowest levels since May 2020.

Limited inventory and higher prices are keeping some prospective homebuyers out of the market,” Kan said. “Refinance activity fell over the week, but because rates have stayed relatively low, the pace of applications was close to its highest level since early May 2021.”


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The refinance share of activity of total mortgage applications increased to 64.9% from 64.1% the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, the market composite index decreased 4% compared with the previous week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 6% from one week earlier, as well.

The FHA share of total mortgage applications increased to 9.6% from 9.5% the week prior, and the VA share of total mortgage applications increased to 10.5% from 10.3%.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of this week’s mortgage applications data:

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.11% from 3.09%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.13% from 3.16%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.08% from 3.15%
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also decreased to 2.46% from 2.48%
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.72% from 3.02%, with points decreasing to 0.19 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans

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