Refi activity and rate freezes fall in February

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Dark Knight, Inc.. announced the release of its latest Origination Market Monitor Report, analyzing mortgage data through February. Leverage Daily Rate Lock Data Black Knight Optimal Blue PPEOriginations Market Monitor provides the industry’s oldest and most comprehensive view of origination activity.

“As we noted in November, the Federal Reserve’s unwinding of its bond-buying program had a stronger impact on mortgage rates than Treasury yields,” said Scott Happ, chairman of Optimal Blue, a division of Black Knight. “Driven by Fed policy and exacerbated by global instability, we’ve seen the spread between 30-year compliant rates and 10-year Treasury yields climb more than 40 basis points in just three months, exceeding 2.25% in February. Our OBMMI daily interest rate tracker showed that the 30-year average conforming rate rose above 4% in February for the first time in more than two years, closing the month at 4.09%.”

Pipeline data for the month showed rate locks fell 5.4% from January, in part due to lower withdrawal and rate/duration rollover locks, which saw monthly declines 15.3% and 34.1%, respectively. Rate/term refinance lending activity fell for the fifth consecutive month, falling to the lowest level in three years, now at more than 80% of 2021 levels.

Withdrawal lock-ins, which were cushioned by rising rates by soaring home values, were down 6.3% year-on-year in February. Non-conforming lending products continued to gain market share at the expense of agency volumes as the pace of house price growth picked up again. Withdrawal rates – the share of locks that result in funded loans – fell for both purchase and rollover locks, with the rollover rate falling to just 68.6%.

“While refinance activity took a hit in February due to sharp hikes in conforming rates, purchase lending rose again due to strong demand from homebuyers,” Happ said. “The 7.2% month-over-month increase in buy blocks pushed February buy volumes up 5.6% compared to the same period last year. The amount The average home loan continues to climb in the face of rising home prices and tighter affordability.Indeed, February’s $6,500 jump pushed that average to just under $354,000. non-compliant products – including jumbos and loans with expanded guidelines – accounted for 17% of the month’s foreclosure activity.

Each month’s Originations Market Monitor provides high-level origination metrics for the United States and the top 20 metropolitan statistical areas by share of total origination volume. More details on January origination activity can be found in the full Black Knight Originations Market Monitor report. here.