Mortgage Loan Rates Made Small Moves, Applications Rise

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a week-over-week decrease of 1% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending March 25. Mortgage loan rates decreased on two loan types and increased on three loan types last week.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 1% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 2% compared with the week ended March 18. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 3% for the week and is now 21% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 3% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing fell from 53.9% to 52.4%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 4.9% of all applications, unchanged from the previous week.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s dovish remarks on Tuesday increased investors’ appetite for risk, and the situation was no different in the mortgage market. Mortgage News Daily noted that mortgage rates moved “decisively lower” following Yellen’s speech and that mortgage-backed securities and other bonds got a “big boost” from Yellen. The most prevalent conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan was quoted at 3.75% Tuesday, a sharp drop from the prior week’s rate.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.93% to 3.94%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.85% to 3.82%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.18% to 3.19%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan decreased from 3.13% to 3.07%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan rose from 3.74% to 3.76%.