Mortgage rates for the weeks ended March 30 and March 31 were
up slightly for fixed rate mortgages, with adjustable rates increasing a bit more
According to Freddie Mac's Primary Weekly Mortgage survey for the week
ended March 30, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage reached 6.35 percent compared
to 6.32 percent for the week ended March 23. Fees and points dropped from 0.6
to 0.5. The 15-year fixed rate mortgaged increased 3 basis points to 6.00 with
fees and points also dropping 0.1 to 0.5.
The two types of adjustable rate mortgages tracked by Freddie Mac showed slightly
greater increases. The 5/1-year ARM grew from 5.96 to 6.02 with fees dropping
from 0.7 to 0.6 and the 1-year ARM was up ten basis points to 5.51 percent with
fees and points also up 0.1 to 0.8.
Since the first of the year the 30 year fixed has increased 14 basis points
and the 1-year ARM is up 35 basis points.
On Wednesday the Mortgage Bankers Association released its Weekly Mortgage
Applications Survey for the week ended March 31. This survey, of 80 percent
loan-to-value loans, found that the 30 year fixed rate mortgage carried a contract
interest rate of 6.49 percent, an increase of 13 basis points from the previous
week and the highest rate reported by the Association since June 14, 2002 when
the average 30-year was 6.53 percent. Points, including the origination fee
increased from 1.02 to 1.13 during the week.
The 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.15 percent, 15 basis points higher
than last week but points were unchanged at 1.12.
One-year ARMs were up 13 basis points to 5.96 percent while points decreased
to 0.84 from 0.88.
Mortgage application activity increased 7.2 percent on both
a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis from the week of March 24. Applications,
however, were down 4.6 percent compared with the same week in 2005.
The market share of refinancing dropped again, representing
36.6 percent of applications this week as compared to 37.3 percent the previous
week. According to MBA this is the lowest share for refinancing since July 30,
2004 when 35.8 percent of loan applications were intended for that purpose.
Adjustable rate mortgage activity declined slightly, now representing 28.5
percent of mortgage applications as compared to 28.7 the previous week. This,
however, is not far from the where the ARM share was in early September despite
the shrinking differential between fixed and ARM rates.