Mortgage rates were mixed for the weeks ending April 20 (Freddie Mac) and April 21 (The Mortgage Bankers Association.) Freddie reported all rates up although only slightly while MBA noted small decreases.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage, according to Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, averaged 6.53 percent with fees and points of 0.6. During the week ended April 30 that product averaged 6.49 percent and 0.6.

The 15 year fixed rate mortgage increased three basis points to 6.17 percent with fees and points unchanged at 0.5.



The 5/1 year adjustable rate mortgage was up to 6.16 from 6.13 with fees and point at 0.8 from 0.7 the previous week. The 1-year ARM increased two basis points to 5.63 percent but fees and points hit 0.9, up 0.1 and a high-water mark for this figure in many months.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economists stated "Mortgage rates drifted upward this week following the release of the Consumer and Producer Price Indexes for March, which came in at the upper end of market expectations for inflation. As a result of higher mortgage rates, housing market activity is beginning to slow, as evidenced in the lower housing starts statistics for March."

Freddie's survey indicated that adjustable rate mortgages had slipped to 32 percent of total market activity in March as compared to 35 percent in November of last year and that, assuming the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, should decline even further.

Freddie periodically issues a regional breakdown of mortgage rates as they did this week. Average rates for a conventional 30 year mortgage ranged from 6.44 percent in the Southeast to 6.62 in the North central region. Even more striking, fees and points had a range of 0.3 (Northeast) to 0.8 in the Southeast. 15-year mortgages had a narrower range, but the same two regions claimed the high and low ends; 6.12 in the Southeast and 6.23 in the North Central Region. Fees and points were spread between 0.4 in the Northeast and North Central to 0.7 in the West and Southeast.

Twenty six basis points separated the Northeast at 6.01 percent from the Southeast at 6.27 percent for 5/1 year adjustable rate mortgages. Fees and points were in much closer array - from a low of 0.6 in the North Central region to 0.9 in the West. The one-year ARM was most affordable in the Northeast at 5.53 percent while the West was at 5.73 percent. Every region but the North Central which was 0.1 lower had fees and points averaging 0.9.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that all rates were down slightly for the week with the 30 year fixed decreasing to 6.53 percent from 6.56 percent and points unchanged at 1.10. In the MBA survey, which includes approximately 50 percent of all mortgage originations, fees and points include the origination fee.

The 15 year fixed-rate mortgage decreased one basis point to 6.18 percent with points dropping from 1.22 to 1.11 and the one-year ARM averaged 5.96 compared to 6.0 percent with points dropping from 0.86 to 0.82. All MBA figures are for 80 percent loan to value originations.

Mortgage activity according to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey was down 3.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 3.2 percent on an unadjusted basis from the previous week. Activity, however, was off 22.4 percent from the same week in 2005 with no adjustments made for the Easter and Passover observances.

Refinancing was up a bit as a percentage of all mortgage applications activity, representing 36.7 percent as compared to 36.4 percent one week earlier. The adjustable rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 28.2 percent as compared to 28.9 percent last week.