Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Apr 10 2024

U.S. Mortgage Applications Inched Up in the Latest Week

  • Mortgage applications rose slightly in the first week of April.
  • Applications to purchase a loan fell but applications to refinance jumped.
  • All rates on mortgage loans rose in the latest week.

Mortgage applications inched up 0.1% (-14.7% y/y) in the week ended April 5, after a decline of 0.6% (-10.2% y/y) in the week ended March 29. Applications for loans to purchase a home dropped 4.7% (-22.8% y/y) in the latest week, following a 0.1% (-12.6% y/y) decline in the prior week. Applications to refinance a loan jumped 9.9% (4.4% y/y) in the week of April 5, after a 1.6% (-5.0% y/y) drop one week earlier. 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 10 bps to 7.18% in the week ended April 5 from 7.08% in the week ended March 29. It compared to a high of 8.12% in mid-October of last year. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 12 bps to 6.61% in the latest week from 6.49% the prior week. The rate on 30-year Jumbo loans rose 7 bps to 7.30% last week from 7.23% the week prior, while the rate on the 5-year ARM rose 3 bps to 6.65% from 6.62%. These 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 rose to 33.3% in the week ended April 5 from 30.3% in the week ended March 29. That compared to a high of 39.7% in mid-December. The percentage of applications that were ARMs eased to 6.90% from 7.0%. This recent low of 5.4% was reached in early January.

The average loan size dropped 1.8% (+0.1% y/y) to $388,200 in the week ended April 5 from $395,500 in the week ended March 29. The average size of a purchase loan eased 0.8% (+4.1% y/y) to $449,400 in the latest week from $453,000 in the prior week. The average loan size to refinance a mortgage rose 0.7% (-0.9% y/y) to $265,300 in the week ended April 5 from $263,500 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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