Mortgage Loan Rates Choppy on Flynn News, Applications Up

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 4.7% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending December 1. The prior week’s results included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday. Mortgage loan rates rose last week on four of five loan types that the MBA tracks.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 47% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 2% compared with the week ended November 24. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 38% for the week and is now 8% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 9% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 48.7% to 51.6%, its highest level of the year.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.7% of all applications, down 0.5 percentage points from the prior week and the lowest level of the year so far.

The bond market’s reaction to Friday’s news related to Michael Flynn sent mortgage rates on a bit of a roller-coaster ride, beginning with a higher demand for bonds — pushing rates down a little — followed by a Monday bond sell-off sending rates back up. By Tuesday mortgage rates for top-tier borrowers had settled at around 4%, according to Mortgage News Daily, right where they’ve been for more than two months.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped from 4.20% to 4.19%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.14% to 4.16%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.57% to 3.59%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan rose from 3.42% to 3.48%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan increased from 4.07% to 4.11%.