Mortgage Loan Rates at Multi-Month Highs Last Week

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a week-over-week increase of 0.6% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending October 14. Mortgage loan rates rose to their highest levels in several months on four types of loans and remained unchanged on one over the past week.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 9% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 3% compared with the week ended October 7. The unadjusted purchase index decreased 7% for the week and is now 13% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 1% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing dropped from 62.4% to 61.5%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 4.1% of all applications, unchanged from the previous week.

The National Association of Home Builders reported on Tuesday that its housing market index had dipped to 63 in October from a 12-month high of 65 in September. Availability of building lots and labor remain an issue for contractors. The Census Bureau will report September housing starts and new building permits Wednesday morning. Starts are expected to rise from 1.14 million to 1.18 million on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, and permits are expected to rise from 1.139 million to 1.165 million

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.68% to 3.73%, its highest level since June. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.67% to 3.72%, also a multi-month high. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 2.97% to 3.03%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan rose from 2.92% to 2.97%, its highest level since May. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan remained unchanged at 3.54%.