Mortgage applications fall as interest rates rise

by John Yellig

Mortgage applications slid 4% on a week-over-week, seasonally adjusted basis in the week ended July 16, while the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate ticked up to 3.11% from 3.09%, the Mortgage Bankers Association said, citing its Market Composite Index.

On an unadjusted basis, the index jumped 20%. The previous week’s adjusted results include an adjustment for the Fourth of July holiday, the association said in a press release.

The refinance index, meanwhile, slid 3% from the previous week and was down 18% from the same week a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index declined 6% from the previous week, while the unadjusted purchase index was down 17% on a weekly basis and down 18% on yearly basis.

“The 10-year Treasury yield dropped sharply last week, in part due to investors becoming more concerned about the spread of COVID variants and their impact on global economic growth,” MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said in a release. “There were mixed changes in mortgage rates as a result, with the 30-year fixed rate increasing slightly to 3.11% after two weeks of declines.”

Kan noted that on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to preceding week, mortgage applications were lower across the board, with applications near their lowest levels since May 2020.

“Limited inventory and higher prices are keeping some prospective homebuyers out of the market,” Kan said. “Refinance activity fell over the week, but because rates have stayed relatively low, the pace of applications was close to its highest level since early May.”     

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