Mortgage Loan Rates, New Applications Continue Sliding

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 3.7% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending February 8. Mortgage interest rates dropped on all five types of loans the MBA tracks.

On an unadjusted basis, the MBA’s composite index dipped by 4% in the past week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 6% compared with the week ended February 1. The unadjusted purchase index fell by 6% for the week and was 5% lower year over year.

Mortgage loan rates for a top-tier 30-year fixed-rate loan slipped from 4.53% to 4.44% last week, according to Mortgage News Daily. As of Tuesday night, top-tier borrowers were paying 4.45% for that loan. The yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note ticked down in the last week from 2.70% to 2.69% as of last night’s close. A year ago the 10-year note yielded 2.86%.

Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting, commented:

Application activity fell last week – even with rates decreasing – as renewed uncertainty about the domestic and global economy likely held potential homebuyers off the market. Despite the recent decline in applications, we still expect that the continued strength of the job market and lower rates will support more purchase activity in the coming months.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 0.1% week over week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 41.6% to 43.2%.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 7.5% of all applications, down from 7.8% in the prior week.

According to the MBA, last week’s average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.69% to 4.65%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped from 4.50% to 4.48%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.11% to 4.04%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan slipped from 4.04% to 3.97%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan fell from 4.70% to 4.61%.