According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates moved only slightly during the week ended March
2 and what little movement there was served only to narrow the gap between fixed
and variable rate mortgages.
Freddie Mac's weekly primary Mortgage Market Survey reported that fixed
rate mortgages decreased from 6.26 percent the previous week to 6.24 percent.
Fees and points were unchanged at 0.6. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage was unchanged
at 5.89 percent as were fees and points, also at 0.6.
Both of the adjustable rate mortgage products tracked by Freddie Mac were up
slightly. The 5/1-year ARM increased one basis point to 5.97 percent with fees
and points unchanged at 0.6. The 1-year ARM increased from 5.32 percent to 5.34
percent with fees and points reaching 0.8, an increase of 0.1 and the highest
this figures has been since the first week of December, 2005.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for
the week ended March 3 was much more definitive. The average rate for 30-year
fixed rate mortgages jumped to 6.31 percent from 6.18 percent
the previous week. Points, including the origination fee moved up from 1.19
to 1.22 percent. All data is for 80 percent loan to value originations.
The 15 year rate was also up sharply, from 5.84 percent to 5.97 percent but
points decreased from 1.23 to 1.22.
The one-year ARM, the only variable tracked by MBA, was up from 5.69 percent
from 5.64 percent with points decreasing to 0.96 from 0.99.
Mortgage application activity was up 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis
from the previous week and 12.9 percent on an unadjusted basis. The Market Composite
Index which measures this activity, however, continued its downward slide when
compared to the same week in 2005. It declined 17.8 percent.
Refinancing as a percent of all mortgage financing activity increased to 38.5
percent from 38.1 percent and the ARM share of mortgage activity continued to
decline. It now represents 27.9 percent of applications as compared to 28.3
the previous week.