Mortgage Loan Rates Turned Higher Last Week; Applications Fall

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 7.4% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending July 7. The week’s results included an adjustment for the Independence Day holiday. During the week, mortgage loan rates rose on four of five loan types that the MBA tracks.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 26% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 3% compared with the week ended July 7. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 22% for the week and is now 3% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 13% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing dipped from 44.9% to 42.1%. The index fell to its lowest level since January.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 6.7% of all applications, down from 7.2% in the prior week.

Mortgage loan rate movements have remained set within a very narrow range, right around their three-month highs, according to Mortgage News Daily. The most prevalent rate available on Tuesday for a 30-year fixed rate loan was 4.125% while a 15-year fixed rate loan was priced at 3.375%. Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s appearances before Congress this week and an announcement from the European Central Bank due next week could be the next catalysts for movement — up or down — in mortgage rates.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.20% to 4.22%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.10% to 4.19%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.43% to 3.50%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage loan slipped from 3.37% to 3.32%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan rose from 4.04% to 4.12%.