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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Applications Decrease for a Fourth Straight Week
by Carol Stone, CBE  July 27, 2022

• Purchase & refinancing applications both decline again.

• Fixed-rate mortgage rates ease modestly; other rates also little changed.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications decreased 1.8% (-63.1% y/y) in the week ended July 22, a fourth consecutive weekly decline. Purchase applications edged down 0.8% (-18.1% y/y) also a fourth consecutive fall and following the previous week's 7.3% drop. Applications to refinance an existing mortgage loan fell 3.7% (-82.6% y/y) after the prior week's 4.3% decrease.

The share of applications for refinancing an existing loan decreased to 30.7% after the previous week's recent high of 31.4%. The percentage of applications that were ARMs edged down to 9.1% from the prior week's 9.5%.

Applications for fixed-rate loans decreased 1.2% (-65.2% y/y) in the July 22 week, also a fourth consecutive weekly decline. Applications for adjustable-rate mortgages fell 6.8% (-4.9%% y/y) after falling 6.6% in the previous week.

The effective rate on a fixed-rate loan eased to 5.92% from 6.00% in the week before. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose slightly to 5.11% from 5.07%. The rate on 30-year Jumbo loan was 5.45%, up from 5.42%, while the rate on 5-year ARMs was little changed at 4.95% following 4.96% the week before.

The average loan size was up 0.4% at $367,100 in the July 22 week. It has fallen from a series high of $401,900 reached in the week ended May 6. The average size of a purchase loan was up 0.9% to $410,400. The average refinancing loan size decreased 2.6% to $269,400.

The Mortgage Bankers Survey covers 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts. The base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

These figures for weekly mortgage applications and interest rates are available in Haver's SURVEYS database.

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