Mortgage Applications Decline for Seventh Week in a Row During the Week Ending April 22, 2022

According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Application Survey (WMAS), for the week ending April 22, 2022, the Market Composite Index (a measure of mortgage loan application) volume declined -8.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased -7.0% compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index decreased -9.0% from the previous week and was -71.0% lower than the same week one year ago.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased -8.0% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased -7.0% compared with the previous week and was -17.0% lower than the same week one year ago.

In remarks prepared for this week’s WMAS, Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting, said:

“With mortgage rates increasing last week to the highest level since 2009, applications continued to decline. Overall application activity fell to the lowest level since 2018, with both purchase and refinance applications posting declines. Refinance applications were 70 percent below the same week a year ago, when the 30-year fixed rate was in the 3-percent range. The drop in purchase applications was evident across all loan types. Prospective homebuyers have pulled back this spring, as they continue to face limited options of homes for sale along with higher costs from increasing mortgage rates and prices. The recent decrease in purchase applications is an indication of potential weakness in home sales in the coming months.

In a period of high home-price growth and rapidly increasing mortgage rates, borrowers continued to mitigate higher monthly payments by applying for ARM loans. The ARM share of applications last week was over 9 percent by loan count and 17 percent based on dollar volume. At 9 percent, the ARM share was double what it was three months ago, which also coincides with the 1.5 percentage point increase in the 30-year fixed rate.”

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