According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates were up almost across
the board for the week ending December 8. Fixed rates took the biggest hit with
the 30-year fixed rate rising six basis points to 6.32 percent and fees and points
increasing from 0.5 to 0.6. The 15-year increased by the same amount in each category
with a reported average rate of 5.87 percent and 0.6 for fees and points. Adjustable
rates showed more modest changes, the 1-year ARM in fact was unchanged at 5.16
percent and 0.8 fees while the 5/1 ARM crept up two basis points to 5.78 percent
with an increase in fees from 0.6 to 0.7.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey
for the week ending December 9, however, indicated that fixed rates for mortgages
issued by its pool of respondents had dropped. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage
averaged 6.28 percent, down from 6.32 percent the previous week, with points,
including the origination fee, decreasing to 1.25 from 1.30 for 80 percent loan
to value originations.
The 15-year fixed mortgage barely budged, but it was down a scant one basis
point to 5.83 percent. The big downturn with this product was in fees and points
which were down 0.11 from the previous week to 1.28.
The one-year ARM increased one basis point to 5.50 percent and points increased
to 0.94 from 0.91.
Perhaps more important was yet another downturn in the Market Composite Index,
a measure of mortgage loan application volume. The index decreased 5.7 percent
on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before and 8.1 percent when not
adjusted. Compared to the same week in 2004, applications were down 11 percent.
Refinances as a share of overall mortgage activity fell to
40.2 percent from 41 percent the previous week. Adjustable rate mortgages represented
33.5 percent of total loan applications, up from 33.1 percent during the week
ending December 2.