Mortgage applications to buy homes decline for fourth straight week

Purchase and refinance activity still sees annual gains: MBA

National /
Oct.October 21, 2020 07:00 AM
(Getty, iStock)

(Getty, iStock)

The number of applications to buy homes dropped again last week, marking the fourth consecutive week of declines.

The index tracking the volume of purchase mortgage applications fell 2 percent, seasonally adjusted, last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey of the U.S. residential mortgage market.

The metric, known as the purchase index, was up 26 percent year over year, according to MBA. The index’s annual gains have been steady; it’s the 22nd week of annual growth.

The purchase index’s continued slide came as mortgage rates ticked up. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose 2 basis points to 3.02 percent last week. Jumbo rates increased by 3 basis points to 3.33 percent.

MBA’s refinance index, meanwhile, was flat with a 0.2 percent uptick from the week prior but was up 74 percent year over year.

Joel Kan, MBA’s head of industry forecasting, maintained that despite the recent weekly declines, demand to buy and refinance remained strong “given the ongoing housing market recovery and low-rate environment.”

MBA’s index tracking all home loans dropped by 0.6 percent, as 66 percent of the loans surveyed were refinancings.

MBA’s weekly report covers 75 percent of the residential mortgage market and has been running since 1990.





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