Mortgage Interest Rates Climb This Week

Rates are increasing, but home buyers can still snag an interest rate that is lower than a year ago.

“The 30-year mortgage rate has been bouncing around in a 10 basis point range since September. While long-term rates have been relatively steady week-to-week, shorter term interest rates have been on the rise. The spread between the 30-year fixed mortgage and the 5/1 Hybrid ARM rate was 59 basis points this week, down 43 basis points from earlier this year. With a narrower spread between fixed and adjustable mortgage rates, more borrowers are opting for a fixed product.” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Dec. 7:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.90 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.13 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.30 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.36 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Rates Hit Pause, Consumers Rush to Lock In?

A slight dip in interest rates last week brought more homeowners and home buyers to the mortgage market. More homeowners were quick to refinance before interest rates rise again, and home buyers were able to lock in lower rates during the week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that total mortgage application volume—which includes for refinancings and home purchases—rose 3.1 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis. Mortgage applications, however, still remain 8.5 percent below a year ago.

Additional data at: “Weekly Mortgage Applications Rise as Rates Briefly Fall Back,” CNBC (Nov. 15, 2017)

Loan Activity Constrained by Prices, Inventory

A decrease in refinancing activity—due to the uptick in mortgage rates since November 2016—has curtailed overall mortgage application activity in recent weeks. It’s again what was behind the 1.6 percent drop in total mortgage applications last week, says the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Applications for refinances dropped 4 percent last week and are now 33 percent below a year ago.

Meanwhile, applications for home purchases are performing much stronger, rising 1 percent last week and now 8 percent higher than a year ago. Housing analysts say that purchase activity could be much higher, if it weren’t for high prices and a tight supply of homes for-sale in many markets.

Mortgage rates haven’t fluctuated too much over the past few weeks, giving borrowers a temporary reprieve. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.34 percent last week, up slightly from 4.33 percent the week prior.

Source: “Mortgage Applications Fall 1.6%, But Average Loan Size Hits Record High,” CNBC (April 5, 2017)

Are Low Mortgage Rates Losing Their Pull?

Mortgage rates are hovering at the lowest averages in years, but home buyers aren’t rushing to take advantage. Mortgage applications dropped 1.6 percent last week compared to the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

“Purchase applications jumped up during the first full week of April and had effectively remained at that level, on an unadjusted basis, before falling this week,” says Joel Kan, the MBA’s associate vice president of industry surveys and forecasting. “The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased to the lowest level since February, led by declines in applications for larger home purchase amounts” (such as declines in the jumbo loan market, loan values higher than $417,000).

The MBA reports the average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage held steady at 3.82 percent last week.

Source: “Lowest Rates in a Year No Enticement: Mortgage Applications Down 1.6%,” CNBC (May 18, 2016)

Mortgage Applications Take Surprising Turn

Loan demand was on the rise last week, posting a strong rebound that was driven mostly by applications to purchase a home, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports in its seasonally adjusted weekly mortgage market survey, reflecting the week ending Nov. 14. The increase in demand came despite interest rates mostly staying flat for the week.

Total application volume, reflecting applications for home purchases and refinances, climbed nearly 5 percent. Refinance applications rose 1 percent week-to-week, while applications for home purchases, viewed as a gauge of future buying activity, surged 12 percent. It was the highest level for purchase applications since July, the MBA reports.

“The MBA and other data are showing strength in the market for new homes, likely reflecting the boost from continued job growth in recent months,” says Michael Fratantoni, the MBA’s chief economist.

Meanwhile, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined slightly last week to 4.18 percent from 4.19 percent the week prior, the MBA reports.

Source: “Weekly Mortgage Applications Jump Unexpectedly,” CNBC (Nov. 19, 2014)

Rising Rates Soften Loan Demand in Latest Week

Interest rates rose last week, prompting a sharp fall in applications for home mortgages, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

Loan applications dropped 9.2 percent in the week ending June 13, according to the MBA’s index of mortgage application activity. The MBA’s survey, which reflects 75 percent of the residential mortgage market, measures application demand for both refinancing and home purchases.

Broken out, applications for refinancing fell 12.7 percent last week. Applications for home purchases, viewed as a major indicator of future home purchases, dropped 4.7 percent, the MBA reports.

Mortgage rates were on the rise last week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rising 2 basis points to 4.36 percent.

The decrease in applications this week comes after a report last week that showed mortgage applications for home purchases had reached a five-month high.

Source: “U.S. Mortgage Applications Drop in Latest Week: MBA,” Reuters (June 18, 2014)

Mortgage Applications Rise 0.9% in Latest Week

For the third consecutive week, mortgage applications rose as interest rates dropped, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

Mortgage applications, reflecting those for refinancing and home purchases, rose 0.9 percent for the week ending May 16. It followed a 3.6 percent gain the previous week.

The rise was led by an increase in refinancing. Applications for refinancing soared 3.8 percent to the highest level since the week ending March 14, the MBA says. On the other hand, applications for home purchases, viewed as a gauge for future home sales, dropped 2.8 percent last week.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continued to drop, falling to 4.33 percent last week to its lowest level since November. The average on 15-year rate mortgages also dropped, averaging 3.43 percent last week from 3.48 percent, the MBA reports.

Source: “Mortgage Applications in U.S. Rose 0.9% Last Week on Refinancing,” Bloomberg (May 21, 2014)

Lower Rates Trigger Jump in Mortgage Applications

Mortgage applications surged 12 percent last week on lower interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

The refinance index grew 11 percent last week, according to the MBA’s seasonally adjusted index.

Applications for home purchases — viewed as a leading gauge of future home buying — edged up 12 percent for the week.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates fell last week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropping from 4.72 percent to 4.66 percent last week.

Source: “Mortgage Applications Surge on Lower Rates,” CNBC (Jan. 15, 2014) and “U.S. Mortgage Applications Volume Jumped Last Week,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 15, 2014)

‘Mortgage Applications Rebound’ After Big Fall

Loan demand ticked up last week, rebounding after last week’s slump in mortgage applications that plunged 12.8 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

Applications for refinancing and home purchases rose 1 percent for the week ending Dec. 6. Broken out, refinance applications increased 2.1 percent, while applications for home purchases — viewed as a leading gauge for future home sales — rose 0.9 percent during the week.

The MBA reports that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to its highest level since late September, averaging 4.61 percent last week. The prior week 30-year rates had averaged 4.51 percent. Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages also increased, rising to 3.66 percent from 3.56 percent over the prior week.

Source: “U.S. MBA Mortgage Applications Index Increased 1% Last Week,” Bloomberg (Dec. 11, 2013)

Mortgage Applications Drop as Rates Edge Higher

For the second week, mortgage applications fell as higher interest rates continued to put the squeeze on refinancing activity, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

The MBA’s index on mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchases, dropped 4.6 percent for the week ending Aug. 16.

The refinance index was attributed to that drop, falling 7.7 percent last week from the previous week — its largest weekly drop since late June. The refinance index has fallen 62.1 percent since reaching its peak during the week ending May 3.

Applications dropped as mortgage rates rose 12 basis points to 4.68 percent last week. That matches the year’s high for 30-year mortgage rates, which was first hit in July, according to the MBA. Mortgage rates continue to rise as concerns mount over the Fed tapering its bond-buying program, which had been keeping mortgage rates near its historical lows in recent months.

Source: “U.S. Mortgage Applications Fall as Rates Push Higher,” Reuters (Aug. 21, 2013)