Mortgage Loan Rates Rise Slightly as Applications Tick Higher

Paul Ausick

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its latest report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning. It noted a week-over-week increase of 0.2% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending March 4. Mortgage loan rates increased on all loan types last week.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 1% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 4% compared with the week ended February 26. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 6% for the week and is now 30% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 2% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing fell from 58.6% to 56.7%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.2% of all applications, down from 5.6% in the previous week.

Although mortgage rates remain historically low, they have risen from the low levels of early February. Over the past 52 weeks, rates have ranged from 3.55% to 4.20% on 30-year fixed rate conventional mortgages and from 3.41% to 3.99% on 30-year jumbo mortgages.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.83% to 3.89%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.75% to 3.81%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.13% to 3.14%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 3.02% to 3.20%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan rose from 3.67% to 3.71%.