Mortgage interest rates increased during the week ended March
13, in some cases more than wiping out the substantial declines reported for
the week ended March 6.
According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage
Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) had an average rate
of 6.13 percent, an increase of 10 basis points from the previous week during
which the average had dropped 21 basis points. Fees and points last week were
unchanged at 0.5.
The 15-year FRM which had dropped from 5.72 percent to 5.47 percent the week
before was back up to an average of 5.60 percent in the current week. Fees and
points were unchanged at 0.5.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged
5.58 percent this week, with 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.34
percent with 0.5 point. Not only did the 5/1 take back the 9 basis point decline
a week earlier but, at 5.58 percent the interest rate was the highest of 2008.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs were reported at 5.14 percent this week, up
from last week when it was 4.94 percent, and the week before when the average
was 5.11 percent. Fees and points increased from 0.5 to 0.7.
"Average mortgage rates were up for all loan products reported,"
said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
"However, for the first 11 weeks so far this year, the average 30-year
fixed rate is still below 5.9 percent, and the average 30-year rate in January
was the lowest since July 2005.
"The combination of lower house prices and lower
mortgage rates contributed to a more affordable market for homebuyers. The
National Association of Realtors® reported that January's Pending Home Sales
Index held unchanged from December, contrary to the consensus expectation of
a 1 percent slide, signaling that existing home sales in February could hold
steady from January's level."
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported in its Weekly Mortgage Applications
Survey for the week ended March 24 that the average contract interest rate for
30 year FRMs decreased to 5.98 percent from 6.37 percent the previous week with
points, including the origination fee, dropping from 1.05 to 0.890.
The 15-year FRM had an average contract interest rate during the week of 5.24
percent compared to 5.72 percent the week before. Points decreased to 0.97 from
The rate for the one-year ARM increased to 6.95 percent from 6.72 percent with
points increasing from 1.27 to 1.64.
All quotes are for 80 percent loan-to-value mortgages.
Application volume was down from the previous week, a decrease of 2.9 percent
on a seasonally adjusted basis and 2.8 percent unadjusted. Activity was also
down compared with the same week one year ago by 3.7 percent.
Refinancing applications as a share of all applications decreased to 49.7 percent
from 50.6 percent the previous week and the market share of ARMs decreased from
15.5 percent to 7.9 percent which must be the lowest level for the ARM in several