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Mortgage Loan Rates Dip, Boosting Applications

Paul Ausick

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning, noting an increase of 1.3% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index, following a drop of 0.4% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates once again fell across the board last week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 1% from last week's report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index rose by 1% week-over-week. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 1% for the week and is down 6% year-over-year. This marks the second 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 rose by 3%, after increasing by 3% in the previous week. The index is now at a two-month high.

The share of refinancings rose by one point to 64% 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 decreased from 4.49% to 4.42%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.53% to 4.45%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.55% to 3.52%, the lowest rate posted since mid-June.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan dropped from 3.26% to 3.25%.

Purchase applications bounced higher last week, after falling in the previous week and increasing the week before that. The consecutive declines in the unadjusted purchase index indicate that the selling season is getting close to its end with mortgage lending rates staying high compared to last year and home price increases continue. Not a good combination for buyers. Refinancings ticked up again last week, and we noted on Monday that home equity loans might be making a comeback as well.