Mortgage Loan Rates Mixed Last Week as Buyers Start to Appear

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a week-over-week decrease of 2.3% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending April 24. That followed an increase of 2.3% for the week ending April 17. Mortgage loan rates decreased for both 5/1 ARMs and 30-year jumbo loans and rose slightly on other loan types.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 2% week-over-week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index was unchanged compared to the week ended April 17. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 1% for the week and is now 21% higher year-over-year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased 4% week-over-week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing dropped from 56% to 55%, its lowest level since last September.

Last year posted the lowest rate of mortgage refinancing since 2000. The current year does not figure to be much of an improvement. Mortgage rates, even with the modest increases we have experienced in 2015, are still below 4% on all types of loans.

The other data point of note this week is the unadjusted purchase index, which rose to a level 21% higher than a year ago. That is a good sign as we head into the traditional spring home buying season.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.7% of all applications, up from 5.5% in the prior week.

The FHA share of all applications rose from 13.6% a week ago to 13.7%, and the VA share decreased from 11.0% to 11.3%.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.83% to 3.85%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.83% to 3.82%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.11% to 3.14%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan fell from 2.89% to 2.88%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed rate loan rose from 3.65% to 3.66%.

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