Mortgage Loan Rates at Four-Month Lows

Paul Ausick

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 0.6% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index, following a rise of 0.3% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates dropped across the board last week. Last week's numbers have not been adjusted to account for the Columbus Day holiday.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 1% from last week's report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 1% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 1% for the week and is down 2% year-over-year. This marks the fourth week in a row that the year-over-year unadjusted purchase index is lower than it was a year ago.

The MBA's refinance index decreased by 1%, after increasing by 3% in the previous week. The share of refinancings dropped by a point to 65% of all applications. Adjustable rate mortgage loans account for 7% of all applications, up from 6% in the prior week.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.46% to 4.39%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.51% to 4.43%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.53% to 3.51%. All three loan types have fallen to their lowest levels since June.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan remained unchanged at 3.25%.

Now that the government shutdown is over and loan applications are moving again, we should see a rise in the unadjusted purchase index. That depends, of course, on how Americans feel about the state of the economy and the confidence in its future direction.