Mortgage Loan Rates Tick Higher

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting a decrease of 7% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index following a rise of 6.4% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates for jumbo and 15-year loans rose, while 30-year and 5/1 ARM loan interest rates declined.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 5% from last week's report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index decreased by 8% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 7% for the week, and is unchanged year-over-year. This marks the sixth week in a row that the year-over-year unadjusted purchase index is lower than or equal to its level of a year ago.

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The MBA's refinance index decreased by 8%, after rising by 9% in the previous week. The share of refinancings fell from 67% to 66% of all applications. Adjustable rate mortgage loans account for 7% of all applications, unchanged from the prior week.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 4.33% to 4.32%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.36% to 4.37%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.42% to 3.44%.

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The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan fell from 3.17% to 3.08%.

Mortgage loan applications and mortgage interest rates have risen and fallen in a zigzag pattern for several weeks now. The changes have been relatively small, but the clear trend after six straight weeks of purchase applications coming in at or below year-ago levels is that mortgage applications have cooled off and refinancings are not picking up any slack.

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