Mortgage Applications Continue to Slide, Interest Rates Slightly Higher

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 3.2% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending November 9. Mortgage interest rates once again rose on four of five types of loans the MBA tracks.

On an unadjusted basis, the MBA’s composite index fell by 5% week over week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 2.3% compared with the week ended November 2. The unadjusted purchase index dipped by 5% for the week and was 3% lower year over year.

Mortgage loan rates for top-tier borrowers ticked up last week from a prior week’s ending value of 5.04% to 5.05% 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 5.04%. The yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell from 3.23% last Tuesday to 3.14% last night. A year ago the 10-year note yielded 2.37%.

Joel Kan, the MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasts, commented:

Recent volatility in the financial markets and increasing rates continue to adversely impact mortgage application activity, even as the general economic outlook remains positive. Both home purchase and mortgage refinance applications decreased over the week, driven largely by declines in conventional applications.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 4.33% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing increased from 39.1% to 39.4%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 7.7% of all applications, down 0.1 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 rose from 5.15% to 5.17%, an eight-year high. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked higher from 4.97% to 4.98%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.55% to 4.57%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan increased from 4.36% to 4.45%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed rate loan dipped from 5.15% to 5.08%.