Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Jun 05 2024

U.S. Mortgage Applications Declined for a Second Week

  • Drop in mortgage applications for the second week after three weekly increases.
  • Purchase & refinancing applications both declined.
  • Effective 30-year and 15-year fixed interest rates move higher.

Mortgage applications fell 5.2% (-7.3% y/y) in the week ended May 31, following a decline of 5.7% (-3.6% y/y) in the week of May 24. The latest level of applications was the lowest since the first week of March. Home purchase loans declined 4.4% (-12.8% y/y) after falling 1.1% (-10.4% y/y) one week earlier. Applications to refinance a loan fell 6.8% (+5.5% y/y) in the latest week after plummeting 13.6% (+12.4% y/y) in the prior week. These data came from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

The effective interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan rose 2bps to 7.26% in the week ended May 31, from 7.24% in the prior week. It compared to a high of 8.12% in mid-October of last year and a low of 6.87% in the fourth week of December. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased 8bps to 6.91% last week from 6.83% the week prior. The rate on 30-year Jumbo loans edged lower to 7.33% last week from 7.34% in the week prior, while the rate on the 5-year ARM dropped 32bps to 6.60% in the latest week from 6.92% the week prior. The high was 7.31% in the last week of October, while the recent low of 5.93% was reached in the last week of December.

The share of applications for refinancing an existing loan fell to 31.1% in the week ended May 31 from 31.3% in the week ended May 24. That compared to a high of 39.7% in mid-December. The percentage of applications which were ARMs rose to 6.7% from 6.4%. The recent low of 5.4% was reached in early January.

The average loan size fell 1.6% (-1.5% y/y) to $375,300 in the week ended May 31, following a small rise of 0.7% (-2.5% y/y) to $381,400 in the week ended May 24. The average size of a purchase loan fell 1.7% (0.0% y/y) to $429,800 last week from $437,200 in the prior week. The average loan size to refinance a mortgage dropped 1.7% (+1.1% y/y) to $254,500 from $258,900 in the prior week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association 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

  • Kathleen Stephansen is a Senior Economist for Haver Analytics and an Independent Trustee for the EQAT/VIP/1290 Trust Funds, encompassing the US mutual funds sponsored by the Equitable Life Insurance Company. She is a former Chief Economist of Huawei Technologies USA, Senior Economic Advisor to the Boston Consulting Group, Chief Economist of the American International Group (AIG) and AIG Asset Management’s Senior Strategist and Global Head of Sovereign Research. Prior to joining AIG in 2010, Kathleen held various positions as Chief Economist or Head of Global Research at Aladdin Capital Holdings, Credit Suisse and Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Securities Corporation.

    Kathleen serves on the boards of the Global Interdependence Center (GIC), as Vice-Chair of the GIC College of Central Bankers, is the Treasurer for Economists for Peace and Security (EPS) and is a former board member of the National Association of Business Economics (NABE). She is a member of Chatham House and the Economic Club of New York. She holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the Universite Catholique de Louvain and graduate degrees in economics from the University of New Hampshire (MA) and the London School of Economics (PhD abd).

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