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The Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey contains 15 indices covering home loan application activity for fixed rate, adjustable rate, conventional and government loans for home purchases and refinances. A new report is posted every Wednesday with the previous week's market activity.
The MBA's loan application survey covers over 50% of all U.S. residential mortgage loan applications taken by mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts.
The data gives economists a snapshot view of consumer demand for mortgage loans. In a falling mortgage rate environment, a trend of increasing refinance applications implies consumers are seeking out lower monthly payments. If consumers are able to reduce their monthly mortgage payment and increase disposable income through refinancing, it can be a positive for the economy as a whole (may boost consumer spending. Also allows debtors to pay down personal liabilities faster). A trend of declining purchase applications implies home buyer demand is shrinking.