Mortgage Loan Rates Dip as Home Sales Stabilize

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 0.2% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index, following a rise of 4.7% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates decreased last week on three of four loan types to their lowest levels since late November.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 2% from the prior week’s report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 9% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 3% for the week and is 12% lower year-over-year.

Mortgage rates continue to inch downward, with only the 5/1 ARM interest rate adding three basis points last week. Adjustable rate mortgage loans account for 7% of all applications.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 2%, after rising by 10% in the previous week. The share of refinancings fell by two points, totaling 62% of all applications.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.57% to 4.52%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.57% to 4.47%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.68% to 3.59%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan rose from 3.23% to 3.25%.

Sales have held fairly stable in January after an initial recovery, which is good news for sellers. As inventories increase with better weather, buyers should get a break too.

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