Mortgage Demand Falls as Rates Rise

Total mortgage demand fell as rates rose for the week ending February 9th, according to the weekly survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

  • The Mortgage Market index fell to 205.1, down 2.3% from the prior week but still above the average for the last four months of 2023.

Drop Across The Board. Both purchase and refi demand fell for the week lead by purchase demand falling to an index of 149.6, down 3.0% from the previous week and now the third straight weekly drop.

  • Refi demand fell for the first time in three weeks with the index fall 2.0% from the previous week.

Rates Rise. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balance rose for the 3rd time in the last 4 weeks to 6.87%, up 7 basis points from the prior week and the highest level in the last 9 weeks.

Analysis. Joel Kan, MBA’s Deputy Chief Economist, noted that higher rates and limited inventory continue to put downward pressure on demand. “Purchase applications remained subdued as elevated rates continue to add to affordability challenges along with still-low existing housing inventory. Refinance applications declined and remained depressed, with rates still higher than a year ago.”