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Mortgage applications activity took a downturn in the latest data report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending Jan. 26.

The Market Composite Index was down by 7.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, although the unadjusted index was up by 8%. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 11% from one week earlier while the unadjusted index increased 6% from the previous week – the latter index was also 20% lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index increased 2% from the previous week and was 3% higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 34.2% of total applications from 32.7% the previous week.

Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 13.8% from 14.1% while the VA share decreased to 13.3% from 13.7% and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.4%.

Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist, observed, “Low existing housing supply is limiting options for prospective buyers and is keeping home-price growth elevated, resulting in a one-two punch that continues to constrain home purchase activity. The average loan size for purchase applications has picked up in recent weeks to $444,100, the largest average loan size since May 2022.”

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