Mortgage Loan Rates Dip, Applications Rise

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a week-over-week increase of 0.8% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending July 24th following an increase of 0.1% for the week ending July 17th. Mortgage loan rates either decreased slightly on all five loan types with four at multi-month lows.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 1% week-over-week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index fell by 0.1% compared to the week ended July 17th. The unadjusted purchase index also rose by 0.2% for the week, and remains 18% higher year-over-year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 2% week-over-week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose slightly from 50.3% to 50.6%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 6.6% of all applications, down from 7.3% in the prior week.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported this week the homeownership in the U.S. decreased again in the second quarter of this year. The rate fell from 63.7% in the first quarter to 63.4% in the quarter ending in June. A year ago homeownership rang in at 64.7%. Homeownership peaked at 69.2% in the second and fourth quarters of 2004.

The Census Bureau estimated that there were approximately 134.6 million housing units in the U.S. at the end of the second quarter of 2015, a decline of 766,000 from the same quarter in 2014.  Vacant units totaled 17.3 million, down 852,000 year-over-year and there were 170,000 fewer vacant rental units and 51,000 fewer vacant units for sale.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.23% to 4.17%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.16% to 4.12%, the lowest rate since May. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined from 3.43% to 3.39%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan decreased from 3.08% to 3.04%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed rate loan dropped from 4% to 3.98%.

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