Mortgage Loan Rates Slid Last Week, Mortgage Applications Rise

Paul Ausick
March 5, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning. It noted an increase of 9.4% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index, following a drop of 8.5% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates fell slightly on all types of loans.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 9% from the prior week's report, but it is 19% lower year-over-year. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 11% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index increased by 12% for the week.

Adjustable rate mortgage loans account for 8% of all applications, unchanged from a week ago.

The MBA's refinance index increased by 10%, after declining 11% in the previous week. The share of refinancings fell slightly to 57.7% of all applications, the lowest level since last September.

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The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.53% to 4.47%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined from 4.47% to 4.37%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.56% to 3.52%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan fell from 3.17% to 3.09%.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index remains close to its lowest point since 1995. That is a very weak showing. Jumbo loan rates also remain lower than conforming loan rates as lenders seek more business from more creditworthy borrowers.

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