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Mortgage Apps: Surprise Increase As Rates Eclipse 7% Again

March 8, 2023
Bottom Line:  Mortgage applications rose last week, despite the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage pushing back above 7% for the first time since November. Purchase applications led the gains as potential buyers on the fence jumped to lock-in rates amid renewed headlines about a re-acceleration in the pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes. Applications for refinancing were lower. Overall, we should note that the level of applications for purchases and refinancing remains very low. Last week's 11+% jump in purchase applications is still a historically low increase in total applications.
The MBA Mortgage Application Index ROSE 6.9% to 202.0, BELOW the 13-week average of 215.0 and -59.9% BELOW the year-ago level. Non-seasonally adjusted the index ROSE 8.8%.
The Purchase Index ROSE sharply, UP 11.2% to 154.0, BELOW the 13-week average of 174.0, and -42.3% BELOW the year-ago level.
The Refinancing Index FELL slightly, DOWN -1.4% to 438.0, ABOVE the 13-week average of 421.0 but -76.1% BELOW the year-ago level.
The effective (adjusted for points paid) 30-year mortgage rate ROSE 9bps to 7.02%, ABOVE the 13-week average of 6.62% and 66bps ABOVE the year-ago level.
Current coupon yields in the secondary market were little changed last week, closing at 5.58%, and were up 8.0 bps this week through Tuesday.
Article by Contingent Macro