Mortgage Loan Rates Continue Marching Higher

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 4.5% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending January 19. Mortgage loan rates rose again last week on all five loan types that the MBA tracks. Two popular loan types reached nine-month highs last week, while three others posted multiyear highs.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 4% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 6% compared with the week ended January 12. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 2% for the week and is now 7% lower year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 1% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing slipped from 52.2% to 49.4%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.2% of all applications, unchanged from the prior week.

Mortgage rates rose to nine-month highs last week, and that trend continued into the first two days of this week, according to Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily. The highest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conventional loan hit 4.39% last week. That has pulled back some, but the most prevalent rate quoted on Tuesday was 4.25%, up 90 basis points over the past week.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to its highest level since last March, up from 4.33% to 4.36%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.25% to 4.31%, also a high since last March. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.77% to 3.81%, its highest level since September 2013.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 3.62% to 3.70%, the highest ARM rate since April 2011. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan increased from 4.30% to 4.37%, the highest level since September 2013.