Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Mar 06 2024

U.S. Mortgage Applications Rose in the March 1st Week

  • Mortgage loan applications jumped in the latest week.
  • Purchase loan applications rose after five consecutive weekly declines.
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was little changed in the last week.

Mortgage applications rose 9.7% (-6.6% y/y) in the week ended March 1, following a decline of 5.6% (-8.6% y/y) in the week ended February 23 and breaking three consecutive weeks of declines. Applications for loans to purchase a home jumped 10.6% (-8.6% y/y) in the latest week, after the 4.5% (-11.9% y/y) drop the prior week. Applications to refinance a loan rose 8.1% (-2.2% y/y) in the March 1 week after declining 7.3% (-1.1% y/y) in the February 23 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 was 7.22% in the week ended March 1, little changed from 7.23% in the week ended February 23. The recent high of 8.12% was reached in mid-October of last year. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined 4bps to 6.83% in the latest week from 6.87% the prior week. The rate on 30-year Jumbo loans eased 5bps to 7.31% in the week ended March 1 from 7.36% the week prior, while the rate on the 5-year ARM rose 8bps to 6.62% from 6.54%.

The share of applications for refinancing an existing loan fell to 30.2% in the week ended March 1 from 31.2% in the week ended February 23. The percentage of applications that were ARMs rose to 7.7% last week from 7.5% in the prior week.

The average loan size rose 3.1% (1.6% y/y) to $385,100 in the week ended March 1 from $373,600 in the week ended February 23. The average size of a purchase loan rose 2.9% (3.9% y/y) to $442,500 in the latest week from $430,000 in the prior week. The average loan size to refinance a mortgage rose 1.4% (-4.5% y/y) to $252,700 in the week ended March 1 from $249,200 in the week ended February 23.

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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