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Mortgage applications fall for fourth week

The housing market is in "desperate need" of more inventory

Mortgage applications decreased for the fourth straight week – this time down 2.2%, according to the latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The 30-year fixed rate also dropped, reported at 3.33% after seven weeks of increases – but it’s still almost half a percentage point higher than the beginning of 2021. Purchase activity is up 6% year-over-year, with the unadjusted purchase index 39% higher than the same week one year ago.

But rising mortgage rates — and home prices that have remained high for months — are making a dent in mortgage applications, according to Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

“Record-low inventory is pushing home-price growth at double the rate from a year ago, and even above the 10% growth rates seen in 2005,” Kan said. “The housing market is in desperate need of more inventory to cool price growth and preserve affordability. Higher mortgage rates continue to shut down refinance activity, as the pool of borrowers who can benefit from a refinance further shrinks.”

The refinance index decreased 3% from the previous week and was 32% lower than the same week one year ago.


Should lenders look to non-QM when the refi boom slows?

HousingWire recently sat down with Tom Hutchens, Angel Oak EVP of production, who shared how non-QM lending could be an effective way for lenders to replace lost business in the event of a refi boom slowdown.

Presented by: Angel Oak

Builders are waiting for lumber mills to reopen following the continued COVID-19 vaccine rollout, a move that should lower the price of building materials. Until enough mills have reopened, though, low inventory and sky-high prices are the norm, and mortgage applications for new homes could continue to suffer.

The FHA share of total mortgage applications decreased to 11.3% from 11.7% from the week prior. The VA share of total mortgage applications increased to 10.3% from 9.8% the week prior.

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

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.33% from 3.36%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.34% from 3.4%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.29% from 3.35% — the first decrease in three weeks
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.71% from 2.72%
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.85% from 2.79%

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