Mortgage Loan Rates Moved Mostly Sideways Last Week as New Applications Declined

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 3.4% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending May 26. During the week, mortgage loan rates either remained unchanged or decreased on all five loan types that the MBA tracks.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 4% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 1% compared with the week ended May 19. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 3% for the week and is now 7% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 6% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing fell from 43.9% to 43.2%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 7.7% of all applications, down 0.5 percentage points compared with the prior week.

Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily noted on Tuesday that while mortgage rates continue to hover near year-to-date lows, the nonfarm payroll report due Friday has the most potential to move mortgage rates and that the size of the movement will, in large part, determine whether rates rise or fall.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged at 4.17%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was also unchanged at 4.11%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped from 3.45% to 3.42%, another six-month low.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage loan decreased from 3.27% to 3.22%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan slipped from 4.07% to 4.03%.