Mortgage Applications Stay on the Rise


Mortgage applications continued their uptick this week, increasing 3.7% from last week’s notable bump of 10.4%, according to the latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) for the week ending January 19, 2024. The results include an adjustment to account for the MLK holiday.

This week’s numbers: 

  • The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. 
  • On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 4% compared with the previous week. 
  • The holiday adjusted Refinance Index decreased 7% from the previous week and was 8% lower than the same week one year ago. 
  • The unadjusted Refinance Index decreased 16% from the previous week and was 8% lower than the same week one year ago. 
  • The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8% from one week earlier. 
  • The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3% compared with the previous week and was 18% lower than the same week one year ago.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 32.7% of total applications from 37.5% the previous week. 
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.3% of total applications.
  • The FHA share of total applications decreased to 14.1% from 14.3% the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 13.7% from 14.2% the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4% from 0.5% the week prior.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) increased to 6.78% from 6.75%, with points increasing to 0.63 from 0.62 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $726,200) increased to 6.94% from 6.86%, with points increasing to 0.46 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 6.51% from 6.46%, with points increasing to 0.87 from 0.80 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.31% from 6.24%, with points remaining unchanged at 0.59 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 6.22% from 6.14%, with points decreasing to 0.49 from 0.68 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week. 

MBA’s take:

“Mortgage rates increased slightly last week, but there continues to be an upward trend in purchase activity. Conventional and FHA purchase applications drove most of the increase last week as some buyers moved to act early this season,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist. “Refinance applications declined over the week and remained at low levels. There is still little incentive for homeowners to refinance with rates at these levels.”





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