Mortgage Loan Rates Mostly Flat, New Applications Up 6%

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 6.3% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending July 14. The prior week’s results included an adjustment for the Independence Day holiday. During the week, mortgage loan rates either did not change or decreased slightly on the five loan types that the MBA tracks.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 33% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 1% compared with the week ended July 7. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 27% for the week, and is now 7% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 13% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 42.1% to 44.7%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 6.7% of all applications, unchanged from the prior week.

Mortgage loan rate changes remain stuck in a narrow range according to Mortgage News Daily. The most prevalent rate available on Tuesday for a 30-year fixed rate loan was 4.125% while a 15-year fixed rate loan was priced at 3.375%, the same rates quoted a week ago. Thursday’s announcement from the European Central Bank is not expected to do more than keep the ECB’s bond buying at current levels and, perhaps, indicate the tapering of purchases could begin sometime. In other words, no big change is expected and the mortgage market should continue to move sideways.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged at 4.22%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked down from 4.19% to 4.18%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.50% to 3.48%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan remained unchanged at 3.32%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed rate loan dipped from 4.12% to 4.10%.