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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Applications Declined in the Latest Week
by Kathleen Stephansen, CBE  November 2, 2022

• Total mortgage applications eased 0.5% in the week of October 28.

• Applications for loans to purchase declined slightly while those to refinance edged up.

• The average effective rates on fixed-rate loans remain at multi-year highs.

Mortgage applications declined 0.5% (-67.9% y/y) in the week ended October 28, after a decline of 1.7% w/w (-68.8% y/y) in the week ended October 21. These data come from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. Applications for loans to purchase a house eased 0.8% (-40.8% y/y) in the October 28 week after a 1.5% (-41.3% y/y) decline in the October 21 week, while applications for refinancing a loan edged up 0.2% (-85.4% y/y) following the 2.2% (-86.0% y/y) decline in the prior week.

The share of applications for refinancing an existing loan rose to 28.6% in the week of October 28, from 28.2% in the week ended October 21. The percentage of applications that were ARMs declined to 11.8% in the latest week from 12.7% the week prior.

The effective rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan was 7.27% in the week ended October 28, down 15bps from the prior week but still the highest since 7.25% in April 2002. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined 13bps to 6.64%, its highest since July 2007, and the rate on 30-year Jumbo loan rose 3bps to 6.75%. The rate on the 5-year ARM fell 5bps to 6.13%.

The average loan size decreased 1.6% w/w to $357,900 in the week of October 28. The series high of $401,900 was reached in the week ended May 6. The average size of a purchase loan decreased 1.5% w/w, to $395,900 from the prior week's $401,900. The average loan size to refinance a mortgage dropped 1.4% w/w to $262,800 in the October 28 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. The figures for weekly mortgage applications and interest rates are available in Haver's SURVEYS database.

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