Mortgage applications increased 4.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 17, 2021. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.
… The Refinance Index increased 7 percent from the previous week and was 5 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 12 percent compared with the previous week and was 13 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
“There was a resurgence in mortgage applications the week after Labor Day, with activity overall at its highest level in over a month, and purchase applications jumping to a high last seen in April 2021,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Housing demand is strong heading into the fall, despite fast-rising home prices and low inventory. The inventory situation is improving, with more new homes under construction and more homeowners listing their home for sale. Despite this week’s increase, purchase applications were still 13 percent lower than the same week a year ago.”
Added Kan, “Homeowners acted while rates remained low at 3.03 percent. This week’s refinance gain of 7 percent was driven heavily by an increase in FHA and VA applications.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) remained unchanged at 3.03 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.
With low rates, the index remains elevated.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index
Note: The year ago comparisons for the unadjusted purchase index are now difficult since purchase activity picked up in late May 2020.