Mortgage Loan Rates Dip on Fixed-Rate Loans, Applications Up Slightly

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 0.8% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending January 13. During the week, mortgage loan rates declined on fixed-rate loans and increased on adjustables and FHA of loans.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 29% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 5% compared with the week ended January 6. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 25% for the week and is now 1% lower year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 7% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing slipped from 51.2% to 53%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.7% of all applications, up from 5.5%.

Mortgage rates have been moving lower for the past week or so, according to Mortgage News Daily, but the moves have been small. There is not much chance that rates will return to pre-election levels, writes Matthew Graham:

With the incoming administration’s policies driving a large portion of upward rate momentum, mortgage rates will be hard-pressed to return to pre-election levels until well after Trump takes office.  Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to get back to pre-election levels.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.32% to 4.27%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.27% to 4.22%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.56% to 3.51%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 3.32% to 3.44%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan rose from 4.08% to 4.10%.

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