Mortgage Loan Rates Continue Climbing

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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 5.5% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending November 18. Mortgage loan rates rose on all types of loans over the past week.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 3% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 19% compared with the week ended November 11. The unadjusted purchase index increased 13% for the week, and is now 11% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 3% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing dropped from 61.9% to 58.2%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.2% of all applications, up from 4.7% the previous week.

The MBA’s chief economist, Michael Fratantoni, said:

Mortgage rates have continued to move higher in the post-election period, as investors worldwide are looking for increases in growth and inflation, with the 30-year mortgage rate reaching its highest weekly average since the beginning of 2016. Refinance volume dropped further over the week, particularly for refinances of FHA and VA loans. … The increase in purchase activity was driven by borrowers seeking larger loans and that drove up the average loan amount on home purchase applications to $310 thousand, the highest in the survey, which dates back to 1990.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.95% to 4.16%, the highest rate since January. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.89% to 4.04%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.15% to 3.35%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 3.11% to 3.24%, the highest rate since last December. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed rate loan rose from 3.73% to 3.90%, the highest level since January.