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Refi and purchase mortgage applications reach new lows

Mortgage application volume has plunged to its lowest level since December 1996, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

MBA’s Market Composite Index, a measure of home loan activity, fell 2.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis and down 5% on an unadjusted basis from the week before. The index declined to a 27-year low despite a 10-basis-point decline in the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased to 7.21% last week, but rates remained more than a full percentage point higher than a year ago, despite mixed data on the health of the economy and signs of a cooling job market,” said MBA deputy chief economist Joel Kan. “The refinance index dropped to its lowest level since January 2023, driven by a 6% decline in conventional refinances.”

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