Mortgage Loan Rates Steady Near 3-Year Low

Paul Ausick

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a week-over-week decrease of 1.6% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending May 13. Mortgage loan rates moved lower or remained the same on all fixed-rate mortgages last week, while the rate on adjustables ticked higher.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 2% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 6% compared with the week ended May 6 to its lowest level since February. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 6% for the week and is now 12% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 1% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 52.8% to 54.7%.

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

The impending release of the minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes has curbed movement in mortgage loan rates. The very slight movement in loan rates over the past week is actually pretty good news for mortgage borrowers because the rates have remained close to a three-year low.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged at 3.82%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also remained unchanged at 3.74%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.06% to 3.02%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan rose from 2.93% to 2.94%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan dropped from 3.64% to 3.63%.