Mortgage Loan Rates Dip From Year-End Highs

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a two-week decrease of 12% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the period ending December 30. Mortgage loan rates declined on four of five types of loans over the two-week period.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 48% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 2% compared with the week ended December 16. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 41% for the week, and it is now 1% lower year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 22% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 51.8% to 52.2%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.4% of all applications, down from 6.5%.

Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since early December on Tuesday, with rates back down to 4.25% from nearly all lenders and down to 4.125% from many. Quotes for 30-year fixed-rate conventional loans had risen to 4.375% to 4.5% at some lenders, according to Mortgage News Daily, so this is an improvement for borrowers.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.45% to 4.39%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.41% to 4.37%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.70% to 3.64%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan decreased from 3.41% to 3.28%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan remained unchanged at 4.22%.