The last time mortgage demand was this low, Toni Braxton’s “Un-break my heart” topped the Billboard charts.
For the week that ended Sept. 8, mortgage applications fell 0.8% from the prior week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Mortgage applications decreased for the seventh time in eight weeks, down to the lowest levels since December 1996.
Last week, refinance applications recorded a 5% drop. It was the weakest reading for refinance applications since January 2023. Simultaneously, purchase applications increased over the week despite the increase in rates, buoyed by a 2% gain in conventional loans. The unadjusted purchase index decreased 11% compared with the previous week and was 27% lower than the same week one year ago.
“Given how high rates are right now, there continues to be minimal refinance activity and a reduced incentive for homeowners to sell and buy a new home at a higher rate,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 29.1% of total applications from 30% the previous week. Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.5% of total applications from 6.7% last week.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 7.27% last week, according to Kan. At HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center, Optimal Blue had 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 7.17% on Sunday. At Mortgage News Daily, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates were at 7.30% on Monday.
The Federal Housing Administration loans’ share increased to 14.2% from 13.7% the week prior. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs loans’ share remained unchanged at 11.3%. Lastly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture loans’ share fell to 0.4% from 0.6% a week prior.
The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs ticked up to 6.59% from 6.33% a week prior.