A bit of easing in mortgage rates prompted a tiny uptick in refinancing during the week ended October 28, but overall mortgage application volume continued its long slide. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, decreased 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier and was 1.0 percent lower on an unadjusted basis. The Refinance Index gained 0.2 percent from the previous week but was still 85 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 28.6 percent of total applications from 28.2 percent the previous week. [refiappschart] The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 1 percent from one week earlier and was two percent lower before adjustment. It was the sixth straight week for lowering purchase mortgage volume which it now 41 percent below its level during the same week in 2021. [purchaseappschart] Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist said mortgage applications declined for the sixth consecutive week despite a slight drop in rates. “The 30-year fixed rate decreased for the first time in over two months to 7.06 percent, but remained close to its highest since 2002,” he said. “Apart from the ARM loan rate, rates for all other loan types were more than three percentage points higher than they were a year ago . These elevated rates continue to put pressure on both purchase and refinance activity and have added to the ongoing affordability challenges impacting the broader housing market, as seen in the deteriorating trends in housing starts and home sales.”

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