Mortgage Loan Rates Sharply Higher This Week

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 1% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index, following a drop of 12.8% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates increased last week on all loan types.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 1% from the prior week’s report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 43% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 37% for the week, and is 10% lower year-over-year.

Because the prior week included the Thanksgiving holiday, the unadjusted numbers basically are getting the data back to the level they were the week before the holiday. The salient figure here is that the unadjusted purchase index is now lower than it was a year ago. That is partly a seasonal decline and partly a reaction to higher interest rates.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 2%, after dropping by 18% in the previous week. The share of refinancings rose by two points, totaling 65% of all applications. Adjustable rate mortgage loans account for 8.1% of all applications, up slightly from the prior week and at a level last seen in June 2008.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.51% to 4.61%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.49% to 4.59%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.56% to 3.66%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan fell from 3.09% to 3.11%.

The increase in adjustable rate mortgages follows from the sharp jump of 0.1% in all the other loan types. The conforming fixed-rate mortgages are back at levels last seen in September.

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