Mortgage Loan Rates Ticked Up Last Week, Applications Fell

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 2.8% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending July 28. During the week, mortgage loan rates either remained unchanged or increased on the five loan types that the MBA tracks.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 3% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 2% compared with the week ended July 21. The unadjusted purchase index also decreased by 2% for the week and is now 9% 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 46.0% to 45.5%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 6.6% of all applications, up 0.2 percentage points from the prior week.

Mortgage loan rates inched up a bit last week, but on Monday reversed direction and maintained a modest downward trend on Tuesday. According to Mortgage News Daily, the poor report on July new car sales from GM sent some traders heading for the bond market. As demand for bonds increases, bond rates — and mortgage interest rates — go lower. Employment and other data are due later this week and could have a strong effect on the direction of interest rates.

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 rose from 4.06% to 4.11%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 3.45%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 3.29% to 3.30%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan inched up from 4.05% to 4.07%.