Mortgage Applications Rise Slightly, Loan Rates Continue Climbing

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 1.6% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending September 14. This marks the first time in four weeks that the number of applications has risen and mostly offsets the prior week’s decline. Applications for new mortgages are moving basically sideways, and interest rates on all types of loans rose last week.

Mortgage loan rates for top-tier borrowers moved higher last week to 4.74% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, according to Mortgage News Daily. That represents a jump of nine basis points, and the interest rate has continued climbing this week. As of last night, top-tier borrowers are looking at a rate of 4.82%, the highest rate in five years. The yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 3.06% Tuesday, up from 2.96% on Friday.

On an unadjusted basis, the MBA’s composite index rose by 12% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 0.3% compared with the week ended September 7. The unadjusted purchase index rose by 9% for the week and was 4% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 4% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing decreased from 37.8% to 39.0%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 6.5% of all applications, up from 6.4% in the prior week.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.84% to 4.88%, its highest level since April 2011. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.72% to 4.77%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.28% to 4.30%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 4.07% to 4.17%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan rose from 4.84% to 4.90%.