Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| May 01 2024

U.S. Mortgage Applications Decreased for a Second Week

  • Mortgage applications fell for the second consecutive week.
  • Purchase applications & refinancing applications both fell.
  • The effective interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan rose, while other rates edged down.

Mortgage applications fell 2.3% (-10.4% y/y) in the week ended April 26 after a 2.7% (-9.3% y/y) decline in the week ended April 19. Home purchase loans declined 1.7% (-14.5% y/y) following a decline of 1.0% (-14.7% y/y) in the prior week. Applications to refinance a loan declined 3.3% (-0.9% y/y) after a decline of 5.6% (+3.3% y/y) the prior week. These data are from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

The effective interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan rose 5bps to 7.48% in the week ended April 26, from 7.43% 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 edged down 1bps to 6.90% in the latest week from 6.91% in the week prior. The rate on 30-year Jumbo loans declined 9bps to 7.53% last week from 7.62% in the week prior, while the rate on the 5-year ARM eased 8bps to 6.88% in the latest week from 6.96%. These latter rates remain below the 7.31% high in the last week of October but above the recent low of 5.93% in the last week of December.

The share of applications for refinancing an existing loan declined to 30.2% in the week ended April 26 from 30.8% in the prior week. That compared to a high of 39.7% in mid-December. The percentage of applications that were ARMs rose to 7.8% from 7.6%. The recent low of 5.4% was reached in early-January.

The average loan size fell 1.0% (-3.9% y/y) to $378,200 in the week ended April 26 from $381,900 in the prior week. The average size of a purchase loan declined 0.4% (-1.2% y/y) to $436,000 in the latest week from $437,900 in the prior week. The average loan size to refinance a mortgage fell 4.4% (-8.1% y/y) to $244,600 from $255,800 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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