Mortgage Applications Down 11.9% For Week Ending October 18

Washington, DC, October 23, 2019-Mortgage applications decreased 11.9% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 18, 2019. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 11.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 12% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 17% from the previous week and was 126% higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4% compared with the previous week and was 6% higher than the same week one year ago. 

"Interest rates continue to be volatile, with Brexit votes and ongoing trade negotiations swinging rates higher or lower on any given day. Last week, mortgage rates jumped ten basis points and were above 4% for the first time since September," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "The increase in mortgage rates caused refinance applications to drop 17%, and by more than 20% for conventional loans. Borrowers with larger loans are the most sensitive to rate changes, and with rates climbing higher last week, the average size of a refinance loan application fell to its lowest level this year." 

Added Fratantoni, "Although purchase applications declined, application volume is still running about 6% ahead of this time last year. Low mortgage rates continue to fuel buyer interest, but supply and affordability challenges persist."