To use the word "drift" in conjunction with the mortgage market the past week
would be suggesting too much energy in mortgage rates and in
According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for last week, fixed
rate mortgages (FRM) inched down a maximum of two basis points and ARMs a maximum
To be specific, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.16 percent with 0.5 point compared
to 6.17 with 0.5 point the previous week while the 15-year FRM had an average
contract interest rate of 5.87 percent, down two basis points from last week's
average of 5.89 percent. Fees and points both weeks averaged 0.5.
The five-year Treasury-indexed adjustable rate mortgage
averaged 5.87 percent compared to 5.92 percent a week earlier but fees and points
did inch up from 0.6 to 0.7. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM decreased from
5.45 percent to 5.43 percent while fees and points remained unchanged at 0.7.
"Recent economic data releases showing weaker existing home sales in March,
coupled with lower consumer confidence in April, caused the market to pause
and reevaluate the potential growth of the economy this year," said Frank
Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "This
allowed all mortgage rates to decline slightly this week."
Nothaft pointed out that, "Thus far this year, mortgage rates have remained
relatively stable. Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages varied by 20 basis
points, while ARM rates stayed within a range of 15 basis points. With stable
rates, new home sales in March edged up by three percent from February, but
the sales pace in first three months of 2007 was still 14 percent below that
of fourth quarter."
According to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey conducted by the Mortgage
Bankers Association, both fixed rate products increased one basis point
during the week ended April 27. The 30-year averaged 6.14 percent with points,
including the origination fee, decreasing from 1.32 to 1.32 and the 15-year
averaged 5.83 percent with points down to 1.25 from 1.27.
The average contract rate for one-year ARMS was unchanged at 5.79 percent with
Mortgage activity was relatively flat, up only 0.6 percent
on a seasonally adjusted basis and 1.4 percent unadjusted from the previous
week. Compared to the same week one year ago activity was 9.4 percent higher
but this figure had been running in the double digits for some time.
Refinancing as a share of all mortgage activity dropped from 43.4 percent to
41.5 and ARMs grabbed only 17.9 percent of all mortgage business compared to
18.3 percent a week earlier.
All and all, a market waiting for something to happen.