Mortgage Applications Steady, Loan Rates Tick Higher

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting no change in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending September 28. The index had risen for two weeks in a row, after three straight weeks of declines. Applications for new mortgages are moving basically sideways, and interest rates on four of five types of loans rose last week.

Mortgage loan rates for top-tier borrowers increased slightly last week to an average of 4.78% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, according to Mortgage News Daily. As of Tuesday night, top-tier borrowers are looking at a rate of 4.80%, a drop of more than seven basis points week over week. The yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped to 3.05% Tuesday, down from 3.06% on Friday.

On an unadjusted basis, the MBA’s composite index fell by 0.2% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 0.1% compared with the week ended September 21. The unadjusted purchase index dipped by 0.2% for the week and was 3% higher year over year.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 0.1% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing was unchanged at 39.4%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 7.1% of all applications, up 0.6 points compared with the prior week.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked down from 4.97% to 4.96%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked higher from 4.92% to 4.93%, its highest level since July 2011. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also rose one tick, from 4.38% to 4.39%, its highest level since April 2010.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 4.22% to 4.24%, the highest level since the MBA survey began in 1990. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan ticked up from 4.94% to 4.95%, the highest level since May 2011.