The RDS Business Intelligence team recently updated its Econometrix Tableau real estate workbooks.

CLICK HERE to check out all of RDS’s Tableau Workbooks.


The average, 30-year fixed mortgage rate for August was 2.84%, holding steady from July’s rate of 2.98%. To put the last year in perspective, our Tableau viz breaks down 30 year fixed rates for the past FIVE decades, summarized below:

  • 2020s: 3.04%
  • 2010s: 4.09%
  • 2000s: 6.29%
  • 1990s: 8.12%
  • 1980s: 12.70%
  • 1970s: 8.90%

The 5-decade average is 7.84%.


The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports weekly on two types of mortgage applications:

  • MBA Purchase Index: The Purchase Index is a leading indicator of home sales by 4-6 weeks, meaning that it is a predictor of housing activity. Housing economists and home builders use the index to forecast new and existing home sales.
  • MBA Refinance Index: The Refinance Index is a tool to predict mortgage activity. Homebuilders pay attention to the Refinance Index because it is a leading indicator of home sales. On the other hand, mortgage investors also take notice of the index as it is a leading indicator of mortgage pre-payment activity. 

MBA Purchase Index

The most recent (August 20) Purchase Index sits at 257.5. This is down 26% from the 12-month peak of 348.2 in January. But after hovering above 300 since June, 2020, the Purchase Index has fallen every week since mid-March.

MBA Refinance Index

After dropping to a 17-month low of 2,791 on July 2, the Refinance Index has continued to climb, now standing at 3,521, down 26% from the 2021 high of 4746 on January 29. For perspective, refinance activity hit an 11-year high of 6,419 in March, 2020.


After dipping to 676,000 in June, seasonally-adjusted home sales jumped 4.7% to 708,000 in July. Current home sales are still down 31% from the 14-year high of 1,021,000 hit in March of this year.

Again, for an interactive look at all of the topics discussed above, as well as other aspects of the U.S. economy, visit our Tableau Public site.

To learn more about Recovery Decision Science contact:

Kacey Rask : Vice-President, Portfolio Servicing

[email protected] / 513.489.8877, ext. 261