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
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
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
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.