Mortgage Loan Rates Dipped, New Mortgage Loans on Track for Best Year Since 2007

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 1.5% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending November 22. Results are being compared to Thanksgiving week last year. Mortgage interest rates fell on all five loan types the MBA tracks.

On an unadjusted basis, the MBA’s composite index increased by 11% in the past week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index slipped by 1% compared with the week ended November 15. The unadjusted purchase index rose by 4% for the week and was 55% higher year over year.

Mortgage loan rates for a top-tier 30-year fixed-rate loan slipped last week to 3.74%, according to Mortgage News Daily. As of Tuesday night, top-tier borrowers were paying 3.73% for that loan. The week-over-week yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note decreased from 1.79% to 1.74% as of last night’s close. A year ago the 10-year note yielded 3.07%.

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

Mortgage rates stayed below 4 percent for the second straight week and borrowers responded positively, with mortgage applications rising 1.5 percent on the back of increases in both refinance and purchase activity. Refinances have been strong this month, but we are starting to see the average pace slow compared to the peak experienced in August through October. … [W]ith roughly five weeks of reporting data left in 2019, the mortgage market is on track for its best year for originations since 2007.

The MBA’s refinance index increased by 4% week over week and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 59.5% to 62%.

Adjustable-rate mortgage loans accounted for 4.8% of all applications, up 0.2 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 decreased from 3.99% to 3.97%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped from 3.93% to 3.87%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped from 3.40% to 3.38%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage loan dropped from 3.51% to 3.42%. Rates on a 30-year FHA-backed fixed-rate loan ticked down from 3.80% to 3.79%.