Mortgage rates have eased recently, but overall remain elevated, which has had an impact on parts of the mortgage industry, especially when it comes to refinancing.
The Refinance Index increased 2% from the previous week, but is way down from year-ago levels.
"The decline in mortgage rates led to a slight increase in refinancing, driven by an uptick in conventional loans," said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. "However, refinances are still 80 percent lower than a year ago and more than 60 percent below the historical average."
Demand for mortgage applications saw an overall increase over the prior week by 0.7%.
"Mortgage rates continue to experience large swings. After increasing 65 basis points during the past three weeks, the 30-year fixed rate declined 14 basis points last week to 5.84%," said Kan. "Rates are still significantly higher than they were a year ago, when the 30-year fixed rate was at 3.2%."
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 0.1% from one week earlier.
"Overall purchase activity has weakened in recent months due to the quick jump in mortgage rates, high home prices, and growing economic uncertainty," added Kan.
The average size of a purchase loan continues to decline to $413,500. The record size of $460,000 was hit in March 2022.
The survey covers over 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990.