Mortgage rates hold steady

Mortgage rates hold steady

BY KATHY ORTON

February 13 at 10:00 am

Mortgage rates held steady last week, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

After falling for five weeks in a row, the 30-year fixed-rate average reversed course. It ticked up slightly, rising to 4.28 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was 4.23 percent a week ago and 3.53 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed rate hasn’t moved above 4.5 percent since early January.

The 15-year fixed-rate average remained the same, holding at 3.33 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was 2.77 a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate has remained below 3.5 percent for five weeks.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages were mixed. The five-year ARM average fell to 3.05 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.08 percent a week ago and 2.64 percent a year ago.

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Pam Tobey/The Washington Post

The one-year ARM average climbed to 2.55 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.51 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were little changed amid a week of light economic reports,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

“Of the few releases, the economy added 113,000 jobs in January, which was below the market consensus forecast and followed a slight upward revision of 1,000 jobs in December. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent, which makes thirteen consecutive months without an increase.”

Mortgage applications were sluggish last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, declined 2 percent. The Refinance index was nearly unchanged, slipping 0.2 percent. The Purchase Index dropped 5 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged, accounting for 62 percent of all applications.

via Mortgage rates hold steady.

Mortgage Rates Hit Three-Month Low

mortgageBloomberg News

February 5, 2014, 11:46 AM

Mortgage Rates Hit Three-Month Low

By NICK TIMIRAOS

Average mortgage rates fell to the lowest level since mid-November last week as unease over economic growth in the U.S. and market turmoil abroad prompted investors to load up on government bonds, pushing down long-term interest rates.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.47% last week, down from 4.52% the week before, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. Mortgage rates are tied to yields on 10-year Treasury note, which closed at 2.64% on Tuesday amid market jitters.

But the modest decline in mortgage rates hasn’t yet been enough to trigger any meaningful gain in home-loan refinancing. Applications for refinances were up 3% from a week earlier but remain at extremely low levels.

Market strategists say that rates would need to ease to about 4% from their current levels in order to provide any lift to refinancing. Rates remain more than a percentage point above their lows of May 2013, when they fell to 3.6%.

“We are eyeing 4.0% on the primary mortgage rate to be a bellwether for increased originator supply,” said Walter Schmidt, an analyst at FTN Financial in Chicago, in a note on Wednesday morning. Refinances accounted for 62% of loan applications last week, which was unchanged from the prior week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that refinance volume will total about $440 billion this year, down from $1.1 trillion last year. That would be the lowest level of refinancing since 2000.

Mortgage rates jumped more than a percentage point last June as investors grew anxious over the Federal Reserve’s plans to unwind its unprecedented bond-buying campaign. The rise in rates ended an unusually long refinance wave that had generated huge profits for U.S. banks. It also led to a pullback in home sales during the fall.

Mortgage applications for home purchases fell 4% last week on a seasonally adjusted basis and stood 17% below their year earlier levels, a grim indicator of falling demand for homes. The small declines in rates in recent weeks could serve as a tailwind to the housing market as the spring buying season gets underway in the coming weeks.

Banks may be able to see refinancing drop by a smaller-than-expected margin if rates stay low and more borrowers find that rising home prices have restored equity, making it possible to refinance. Many borrowers have been shut out from refinancing because their homes have dropped in value, though a series of government programs have enabled more borrowers to refinance. But analysts don’t expect refinance volumes to come anywhere close to their levels of the past few years.

via Mortgage Rates Hit Three-Month Low – Developments – WSJ.

Mortgage rates fall for second week in a row

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Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

Mortgage rates fall for second week in a row

BY KATHY ORTONJanuary 23 at 10:07 am

Mortgage rates fell for the second week in a row, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate average sank to 4.39 percent with an average 0.7 point, its lowest level since late November. It was 4.41 percent a week ago and 3.53 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average edged down to 3.45 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was 3.45 percent a week ago and 2.81 percent a week ago.The 15-year fixed rate was below 3.5 percent for only the second time in the past six weeks.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages were mixed. The five-year ARM average rose to 3.15 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.1 percent a week ago and 2.7 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average moved for the first time in four weeks, dropping to 2.54 percent with an average 0.5 point.

“Mortgage rates were flat to down a little this week amid reports that inflation remains subdued,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. “The Consumer Price Index was up to 0.3 percent in December after being unchanged in November. For the year as a whole, consumer prices rose just 1.5 percent in 2013.”

Meanwhile, spurred by falling interest rates, mortgage applications showed an uptick last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, rose 4.7 percent. The Refinance index grew 10 percent, while the Purchase Index increased 2 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity rose to its highest level in two months, accounting for 64 percent of all applications.

via Mortgage rates fall for second week in a row.