The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced on Wednesday that the
mortgage application volume in the U.S. plunged 13.3 percent in the week ended February
17, following a 7.7 percent tumble the week before.
According to the MBA’s data, last week’s decline in mortgage
applications was primarily driven by an 18.1 percent plummet in mortgage
applications to purchase a home. In addition, mortgage refinance applications
decreased by 2.2 percent.
The report also revealed that the average fixed 30-year mortgage rate surged from 6.39
percent to 6.62 percent, its highest level since the week ended November 18,
2022 (6.67 percent).
Commenting on the latest survey results, Joel Kan, MBA's vice president
and deputy chief economist, noted that mortgage application activity was
dampened by nearly a quarter percentage point climb in mortgage interest rates in
response to market expectations that inflation will persist, requiring the
Federal Reserve to maintain its policy restrictive for a longer time.