Not a lot to say about the mortgage biz for the weeks ending March 23 and 24. Fixed mortgage rates were down per Fannie Mae, up according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, and adjustable rates were up according to everybody, with one exception, overall it was hardly enough to matter.

Anyway, the details. Fannie Mae's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ended March 23 indicated that the average rates for mortgages closed that week were as follows: the 30-year fixed was at 6.32 percent with fees and points of 0.6 compared to an average rate of 6.34 for the week ended March 16 with 0.7 in fees and points. The 15-year fixed averaged 5.97 percent compared to 5.98 a week earlier. Fees and points declined from 0.7 to 0.6.



The two adjustable rate products tracked by the survey showed slightly greater movement in the opposite direction. Both the 5/1 ARM and the 1-year ARM increased four basis points, averaging 5.96 percent for the 5/1 and 5.41 percent for the 1-Year. Fees and points were unchanged for the 5/1 and declined from 0.8 to 0.7 for the 1-year.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 24 the 30-year fixed rate mortgage average increased to 6.36 percent from 6.31 percent while points, including the origination fee, decreased from 1.13 to 1.02. The 15-year fixed rate loan was up one basis point to 6.0 percent with points increasing from 1.09 to 1.12. MBA's survey result for the 1-year ARM was more dramatic, showing an increase of 15 basis points to 5.68 percent with points also increasing from 0.88 to 0.86. Thus, at least by MBA calculations, the yield curve flattened still further with only 53 basis points separating the 1-year ARM from the 30 year fixed. Last week the differential was 63 basis points. All MBA figures are for 80 percent loan to value originations.

Loan activity was up slightly. According to the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, there was an increase of 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week and 1.0 percent on an unadjusted basis. Compared to the same week in 2005, however, application activity dropped 15 percent.

Refinancing activity was down from 38.1 percent of all application during the week ended March 17 to 37.3 percent. Refinancing, however, increased from a 28.3 percent share of all mortgage applications to 28.7 percent.