Mortgage Loan Rates Change Little, Applications Drop 4%

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 4.1% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending May 12. During the week, rates again moved up, down and sideways.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 4% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 3% compared with the week ended May 5. The unadjusted purchase index also decreased by 3% for the week, and it is now 9% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 6% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 41.9% to 41.1%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 8.1% of all applications, down 0.1 percentage points compared with the prior week.

Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily noted on Tuesday that mortgage rates have moved to their lowest level in two weeks, in a range of 4.00% to 4.25%, with 4.125% being the most-often offered rate for top-tier borrowers.

Bond markets have strengthened, mostly due to the turmoil in Washington, D.C. The effect has been to raise demand for bonds, thereby lowering their yields. The 10-year Treasury bond slipped near below 2.3% in overnight trading Tuesday.

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

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage loan decreased from 3.36% to 3.30%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan rose from 4.09% to 4.11%.