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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Applications Decrease in the Latest Survey Week
by Kathleen Stephansen, CBE  August 31, 2022

• Applications for purchases and refinancing dropped in the August 26 week.

• Applications for adjustable-rate mortgages surged.

• Interest rates rose for fixed-rate loans.

Mortgage applications dropped 3.7% (-63.8% y/y) in the week of August 26, following a decline of 1.2% (-63.4% y/y) in the prior week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. Purchase applications declined 1.8% (-23.1% y/y) in the August 26 week, after a 0.5% drop (-21.2% y/y) in the August 19 week. Applications to refinance an existing mortgage loan plummeted 7.8% (-83.4% y/y), after a 2.8% decline (-82.7% y/y) in the prior week.

The share of applications for refinancing an existing loan eased to 30.3% in the August 26 week, from the 31.1% share the week prior. The percentage of applications that were ARMs rose to 8.5% from 6.5% in the August 19 week.

Applications for fixed-rate loans dropped 5.8% (-65.8% y/y) in the August 26 week, following a smaller decline of 0.7% (-64.7% y/y) the prior week. Applications for adjustable-rate mortgages surged 26.1% (-3.7% y/y) in the August 26 week, following a decline of 7.5% (-21.9% y/y) the week prior.

The effective rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan was 6.01% in the August 26 week, up from 5.85% the prior week. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 5.31% from 5.22% the week prior. The rate on 30-year Jumbo loan was 5.46% in the August 26 week little changed from 5.45% the week prior. The rate on 5-year ARMs eased to 5.01% from 5.09% in the August 19 week.

The average loan size rose to $368,900 in the week of August 26 from $363,700 the prior week. The series high of $401,900 was reached in the week ended May 6. The average size of a purchase loan rose to $409,100 from $406,400. The average refinancing loan size rose to $276,600 in the August 26 from $269,000 in the August 19 week.

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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