Mortgage Loan Rates Slide Lower, Applications Rise

Paul Ausick
February 5, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 0.4% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite, index following a drop of 0.2% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates decreased last week on all four loan types to their lowest levels since late last year.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 4% from the prior week's report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 14% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index also increased by 14% for the week, and it is 17% lower year-over-year.

Mortgage rates continue to inch downward, with the 5/1 ARM interest rate at its lowest level since December and the fixed-rate loans at their lowest levels since November. Adjustable rate mortgage loans account for 8% of all applications, up a point since last week.

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The MBA's refinance index increased by 3%, after falling by 2% in the previous week. The share of refinancings remained unchanged at 62% of all applications.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.52% to 4.47%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.47% to 4.42%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.59% to 3.53%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan fell from 3.25% to 3.15%.

Declining mortgage interest rates should help sales once the weather begins to cooperate.

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