Mortgage market index falls to 22-year low: MBA

Jun 08, 2022

(REUTERS) A MEASURE of mortgage loan application volume fell to its lowest level in 22 years last week, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) data showed on Wednesday (Jun 8), as the Federal Reserve's moves to cool the interest-rate sensitive housing sector continue to have an impact.

The MBA said its Market Composite Index, which includes purchase and refinance applications, fell 6.5 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis to 288.4, compared to 645.4 one year ago.

That was despite the average contract rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remaining off highs it reached 4 weeks ago. The rate rose to 5.4 per cent for the week ended June 3 after 3 weeks of declines.

Overall though mortgage rates have risen at the sharpest pace in decades since the start of the year as the central bank signalled it would be more aggressive in dampening demand across the economy in order to help quell high inflation.

The MBA said its Purchase Composite Index, a measure of all mortgage loan applications for purchase of a single family home, fell 7.1 per cent from a week earlier and its Refinance Index declined 5.6 per cent.

How quickly the Fed is able to sap the housing market's double-digit annual price growth remains to be seen, with competition fuelled by record-low housing stock and an extremely tight job market.