The purchase mortgage market continues to pick up steam

Mortgage loan application volume rebounded from the week prior, increasing by 0.3% for the week ending Sept. 10, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly report. The increase in application volume was predominantly driven by purchase mortgage activity, which grew by 8% from the week prior, the trade group said.  

Not surprisingly, the refi index has continued to slip, dipping 3% from the previous week, the MBA noted.

Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a statement that purchase mortgage application volume is currently at its highest level since April 2021.

“Compared to the same week last September, which was right in the middle of a significant upswing in home purchases, applications were down 11%– the smallest year-over-year decline in 14 weeks,” Kan said.

He also noted that volume for both conventional and government purchase applications increased last week, as did the average loan size for a purchase application, rising to $396,800.

“The very competitive purchase market continues to put upward pressure on sales prices,” Kan added.

Meanwhile, the refinance share of mortgage activity is starting to take up a smaller slice of the pie chart, decreasing to 64.9% of total applications from 66.8% last week, the report found.

Kan said that even though the 30-year-fixed rate remains unchanged at just over 3%, “it is not enough to drive more refinance activity.”

“Refinance applications slipped to their slowest pace since early July, and the refinance share of applications fell to 65%, which was also the lowest since July,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, the share of total applications that the FHA, VA and USDA received last week was also on the decline.

The FHA share of applications dipped to 9.9% from 10.9% the week prior, while the VA share of total applications decreased to 10.2% from 10.4% last week. USDA’s share of total applications dipped by 0.4% from 0.5% a week ago.

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