Mortgage Applications Decline for Third Consecutive Week in the Week Ending March 25, 2022

According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Application Survey (WMAS), for the week ending March 25, 2022, the Market Composite Index (a measure of mortgage loan application volume) declined -6.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased -6.0% compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index decreased -15.0% from the previous week and was -60.0% lower than the same week one year ago.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1.0% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1.0% compared with the previous week but was -10.0% lower than the same week one year ago.

In remarks prepared for this week’s WMAS, Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, said:

“Mortgage rates jumped to their highest level in more than three years last week, as investors continue to price in the impact of a more restrictive monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. Not surprisingly, refinance application volume declined further, as fewer borrowers have an incentive to apply at rates that are significantly higher than a year ago. Refinance application volume is now 60 percent below last year’s levels, in line with MBA’s forecast for 2022.

Even with the ongoing climb in rates, purchase application volumes were little changed last week. This is particularly auspicious, as we are now in the beginning of the spring homebuying season, and those shopping for homes are struggling with not only higher and more volatile mortgage rates, but also an ongoing shortage of homes on the market. Given these hurdles, it appears to be promising news that purchase application volume has not declined, as many potential buyers are likely feeling the squeeze in their purchasing power from the jump in rates.”

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