Mortgage Loan Rates Ticking Up as Applications Rise Slightly

Paul Ausick

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 2.4% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending May 5. During the week, rates moved up, down and sideways.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 3% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 2% compared with the week ended April 28. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 2% for the week and is now 6% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 2% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 41.6% to 41.9%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 8.2% of all applications, down 0.2 percentage points compared with the prior week.

Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily noted on Tuesday that mortgage rates are making a slow-motion move higher. Over the past two weeks, rates have decreased on only three days. While that sounds like bad news, rates are up only 0.11% in the same timeframe.

Bond markets have continued to weaken, raising both yields and mortgage rates. Demand for bonds has dropped as investors chase the soaring equities markets.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 4.23%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.18% to 4.22%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped from 3.51% to 3.50%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage loan increased from 3.29% to 3.36%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan rose from 4.06% to 4.09%.