Mortgage Loan Rates Stayed Low Last Week, Applications Rose

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 2.7% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending April 21. During the week, mortgage loan rates either remained unchanged or decreased.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 3% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 1% compared with the week ended April 14. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 1% for the week and is now 0.4% higher 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 rose from 42.4% to 44%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 8.7% of all applications, up 0.3 percentage points compared with the prior week.

Mortgage rates have turned higher since Sunday’s election in France. Prior to the election, investors had been seeking safety in the bond market, driving yields (and mortgage rates) down.

The election results increased investors’ appetite for risk, bond-buying has slowed and mortgage rates have begun to rise. Still, Mortgage News Daily reports that Tuesday’s most common rates on 30-year conventional loans were between 4.000% and 4.125%.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.22% to 4.20%, its lowest level since last November. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged at 4.15%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped from 3.50% to 3.46%, also its lowest level since November.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage loan decreased from 3.27% to 3.22%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan fell from 4.09% to 4.03%.