Mortgage Loan Rates Moving Higher Again

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 2% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending September 6. The totals for last week have been adjusted to account for the Labor Day holiday. Mortgage interest rates fell on four of five types loans the MBA tracks and rose on the fifth.

On an unadjusted basis, the MBA’s composite index decreased by 9% in the past week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 5% compared with the week ended August 30. The unadjusted purchase index fell by 8% for the week and was 9% higher year over year.

Mortgage loan rates for a top-tier 30-year fixed-rate loan remained unchanged at 3.64% last week, according to Mortgage News Daily. As of Tuesday night, top-tier borrowers were paying 3.70% for that loan. Bond yields dropped on both Monday and Tuesday, pushing rates higher. The week-over-week yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose from 1.46% to 1.74% as of last night’s close. A year ago, the 10-year note yielded 2.94%.

Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said:

Mortgages rates continued to decline over the holiday-shortened week, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing five basis points and remaining near three-year lows. … August overall was the strongest month of activity so far in 2019. Purchase applications rose around 5 percent, with increases for both conventional and government applications.

The MBA’s refinance index decreased by 0.4% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing dipped from 60.4% to 60%.

Adjustable-rate mortgage loans accounted for 5.6% of all applications, down by 0.1 percentage 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 fell from 3.87% to 3.82%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.94% to 3.84%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked down from 3.29% to 3.28%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage loan rose from 3.40% to 3.42%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan dipped from 3.80% to 3.76%.

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