Mortgage Loan Rates Spike Higher, Applications Continue Slide

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 2.7% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending May 11. Mortgage loan rates made mixed moves last week.

Mortgage loan rates spiked to their highest levels in seven years on Tuesday hitting 4.75%, nearly a full percentage point higher than a year ago. The upward movement happened quickly, according to Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily, because mortgage rates were already near a multiyear peak, and as soon as that peak was reached, momentum took over. Bond selling drove yields higher and that lifted interest rates on mortgage loans rose as well.

On an unadjusted basis, the MBA’s composite index decreased by 3% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index dropped by 2% compared with the week ended May 4. The unadjusted purchase index also decreased by 2% for the week and is now 4% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 4% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing dipped week over week from 36.3% to 35.9%, its lowest level since August 2008.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 6.5% of all applications, unchanged from the prior week.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped from 4.78% to 4.77%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.65% to 4.73%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 4.20%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 4.00% to 4.09%, the highest level for the MBA survey since it began in 1990. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan ticked down from 4.80% to 4.78%.