The numbers: Mortgage applications fell by 13.2% to close off the last two weeks of 2022.
Mortgage applications are now at the lowest level in 27 years.
The real-estate market is slow during the holiday season, so that weighed on the market composite index, a measure of mortgage application volume, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday.
The market index fell by 13.2% to 184.5 for the week ending December 30, from two weeks earlier. A year ago, the index stood at 572.8.
Key details: The refinance index fell 16.3%, and was down 87% compared to a year ago.
The purchase index — which measures mortgage applications for the purchase of a home — fell by 12.2% from the last two weeks. Purchase applications were low due to mortgage rates staying firmly above 6%.
The average contract rate for the 30-year mortgage for homes sold for $647,200 or less was 6.58% for the week ending December 30.
That’s up from 6.42% the week before, the MBA said.
For homes sold for over $647,200, the average rate for the 30-year was 6.12%.
The 15-year rose to 6.06%.
The rate for adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 5.61%.
The big picture: Mortgage rates have haunted the housing market into 2023. With rates above 6%, buyers continue to find homeownership unaffordable.
But the last two weeks of December are usually slow, so look to next week’s report to get a better sense of mortgage demand.
What are they saying? “The end of the year is typically a slower time for the housing market,” Joel Kan, vice president and deputy chief economist at the MBA, said.
“And with mortgage rates still well above 6 percent and the threat of a recession looming, mortgage applications continued to decline over the past two weeks to the lowest level since 1996,” he added.
Market reaction: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
fell below 3.7% in early morning trading Wednesday.