Mortgage Applications Decrease, Loan Size Second Highest in MBA History

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Uncertainty around the Fed’s policy and concerns over the war in Ukraine translated into mortgage applications decreasing 1.2% for the week ending March 11, 2022, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

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In addition, the MBA said the average purchase application loan size remained elevated at $453,200 — the second-highest amount in MBA’s survey.

“Mortgage rates continue to be volatile due to the significant uncertainty regarding Federal Reserve policy and the situation in Ukraine. Investors are weighing the impacts of rapidly increasing inflation in the U.S. and many other parts of the world against the potential for a slowdown in economic growth due to a renewed bout of supply-chain constraints,” Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a press release. “After declining two weeks ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased last week to 4.27% — the highest since May 2019. Rates are now roughly a full percentage point higher than a year ago and continue to hamper refinance activity. Refinances declined for both conventional and government loans.”

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The Refinance Index also decreased 3% from the previous week and was 49% lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1% from one week earlier, while the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2% compared with the previous week and was 8 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

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“Purchase applications slightly increased, with both conventional and VA loan applications seeing gains. The average purchase application loan size remained elevated at $453,200 — the second-highest amount in MBA’s survey,” Kan added.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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