Mortgage Loan Rates Dip, but Remain Volatile

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a week-over-week increase of 4.6% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending July 3. That followed a decrease of 4.7% for the week ending June 26. The weekly results included an adjustment for the Independence Day holiday. Mortgage loan rates decreased on all five loan types.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 6% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index rose by 7% compared to the week ended June 26. The unadjusted purchase index dropped by 4% for the week and remains 32% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 3% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing slipped from 48.9% to 48.0%, its lowest level since June of 2009.

Mortgage Daily News reported Tuesday that a majority of lenders were quoting conventional 30-year fixed mortgage loan rates of 4% for their top-tier borrowers earlier in the day, but after European markets closed Tuesday those rates disappeared and the prevailing rate moved back to 4.125% for top-tier borrowers. The report goes on to say:

This type of intraday movement is par the course recently, and it’s not going away any time soon. Whether it’s driven by domestic events such as [Wednesday]’s release of the Minutes from that last Fed meeting, or by several days of negotiations over a new Greek bailout that follow, volatility is the only safe bet. For the past three business days, that volatility has generally left mortgage rates in better shape, but until we see a more stable change in market behavior, it’s safer to treat such days as “lock opportunities” as opposed to promises of further improvement. [Emphasis in original.]

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Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 7.1% of all applications, up from 7.0% in the prior week.

The average loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.26% to 4.23%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.21% to 4.18%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.44% to 3.41%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan decreased from 3.09% to 3.03%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan slipped from 4.04% to 4.01%.

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