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Mortgage Loan Rates Up, Applications Down as Gov’t. Shutdown Continues

Paul Ausick

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 0.3% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index, following a rise of 1.3% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rate changes were mixed last week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 5% from last week's report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index rose by 0.4% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 5% for the week and is down 1% year-over-year. This marks the third week in a row that the year-over-year unadjusted purchase index is lower than it was a year ago.

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The MBA's refinance index rose by 3% after increasing by 3% in the previous week. The share of refinancings rose by two points to 66% of all applications. Adjustable rate mortgage loans account for 6% of all applications.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.42% to 4.46%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.45% to 4.51%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.52% to 3.53%.

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

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The government shutdown had the expected effect on the mortgage market last week. An MBA executive noted:

The government shutdown had a notable impact on the mortgage market last week. Purchase applications for government programs dropped by more than 7 percent over the week to their lowest level since December 2007, and the government share of purchase applications dropped to its lowest level in almost three years. Conventional purchase applications dropped as well, but not to the same extent, falling almost 4 percent for the week.

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