Mortgage demand declined to a 22-year down as increased interest rates and inflation pressured consumers

Mortgage demand declined to a 22-year down as increased interest rates and inflation pressured consumers

July 21, 2022: -The mortgage market pain only deepens as the increasing interest rates and inflation crush American consumers.

Mortgage demand decreased over 6% in the previous week compared with the week before, reaching the lowest level since 2000, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

A mortgage application to purchase a home declined 7% for the week and was 19% lower than the same week in the last year. Buyers have been contending with high prices all year, but with rates almost double what they were in January, they’ve lost considerable purchasing power.

“Purchase activity declined for both conventional and government loans as the weakening economic outlook, high inflation, and persistent affordability challenges are impacting buyer demand,” said Joel Kan, an economist for the MBA.

While buyers are less affected by weekly moves in interest rates, the broader picture of rising rates has already taken its toll. Mortgage rates increased again in the previous week after decreases over the previous three weeks.

The average contract interest rate for fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of 30 years increased to 5.82% from 5.74%, with points increasing to 0.65 from 0.59 for loans with a 20% down payment. That rate was 3.11% the same week one year ago.

Demand for refinances, which are favorably rated sensitive, died 4% for the week and was 80% lower than the same week in the previous year. Those applications are also at a 22-year low. Still, the drop in demand from homebuyers caused the refinance share of mortgage activity to increase to 31.4% of total applications from 30.8% the previous week.

Mortgage interest rates haven’t moved much this week, but that could change very soon due to increasing bond market volatility. The Federal Reserve will likely raise rates by another 75 basis points next week, and other central banks are taking equivalent action against inflation. A basis point equals 0.01%.

“This is especially true in the coming week as markets digest the newest Fed policy announcement on Wednesday, though Thursday’s policy announcement from the European Central Bank could cause enough of a stir to impact U.S. rates,” Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily said.

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Mortgage demand declined to a 22-year down as increased interest rates and inflation pressured consumers