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Mortgage Loan Rates Slide Lower, Applications Rise

Paul Ausick

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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