Mortgage Loan Rates Show Little Movement While Applications Decline

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 1.6% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending March 31. During the week, mortgage loan rates moved either up, down or stayed the same. A mixed bag, for sure.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 1% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 1% compared with the week ended March 24. The unadjusted purchase index also increased by 1% for the week and is now 8% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 4% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing slipped from 44.0% to 42.6%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 8.5% of all applications, unchanged compared with the prior week.

Research firm CoreLogic on Tuesday released its home price index report for February, showing that home prices rose 7% year over year. Compared to January, prices rose 1%.

Home prices rose or remained unchanged in 48 states and the District of Columbia, dropping only in West Virginia, down 1.3%, and Connecticut, down 0.8%.

CoreLogic forecast that home prices would rise 0.4% month over month in March and rise 4.7% between February 2017 and February 2018.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.33% to 4.34%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.26% to 4.24%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 3.57%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage loan increased from 3.30% to 3.33%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan fell from 4.24% to 4.15%.