Housing

Mortgage Loan Rates Slipped Lower Last Week

Paul Ausick

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its latest report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning. It noted a week-over-week increase of 1.3% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending January 30, following a drop of 3.2% for the week ending January 23. Mortgage loan rates decreased on four of five types of loans during the week.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 15% week-over-week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 2%, compared to the week ended January 23. The unadjusted purchase index rose by 16% for the week and is now 3% higher year-over-year.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.3% of all applications, down from 5.7% in the prior week.

The MBA’s refinance index increased 3% week-over-week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing declined from 72% in the prior week to 71%.

An MBA executive noted:

Following several weeks of already elevated refinance activity due to falling interest rates, FHA refinance applications increased 76.5 percent in response to a reduction in annual mortgage insurance premiums which took effect January 26.

The FHA share of all applications rose from 9.1% a week ago to 13.1%, and the VA share decreased from 10.7% to 8.5%.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.83% to 3.79%, the lowest level since May of 2013. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.87% to 3.82%, also the lowest since May 2013. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.15% to 3.14%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan rose from 2.96% to 3.03%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed rate loan dropped from 3.71% to 3.69%.

ALSO READ: Over a Third of Americans Don’t Know Their Mortgage Rate