Mortgage rates increased in every category last week according to surveys released by Freddie Mac and by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market survey reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.62 percent with 0.4 point during the week ended August 16. The previous week the average rate was 6.59 also with average fees and points of 0.4. In spite of a turbulent year, rates are little changed; one year ago the 30 year FRM averaged 6.52 percent.

The 15-year FRM had an average contract interest rate of 6.30 percent with 0.5 point compared with 6.25 percent with 0.4 point for the week ended August 9. One year ago the rate averaged 6.20 percent.



Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 6.35 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point. Last week that product averaged 6.33 percent also with 1/2 point. During the same week in 2006 the 5-year ARM averaged 6.18 percent.

The traditional one-year Treasury-indexed ARM had a rate of 5.67 percent this week with 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.65 percent with 0.5 point. The rate is virtually unchanged from one year ago when the 1-year ARM averaged 5.65 percent.

Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft remarked that "Interest rates on prime conforming fixed-rate mortgages ticked up a little in the past week, in line with 10-year Treasury rates movements and retracing part of last week's decline. Problems in the non-prime mortgage market where funds are expensive and hard-to-get have not affected the prime conforming market.

"This week's data releases included the Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index for July. Core inflation at the wholesale level increased 0.1 percent in July, or 2.3 percent year-over-year, below market expectations, while core inflation at the retail level grew by 0.2 percent, or 2.2 percent year-over-year, in line with what had been expected."

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended August 17 reported similar changes in rates.

The 30-year FRM had an average interest rate of 6.49 percent with 1.48 points, including the origination fee, compared to the week before when rates averaged 6.45 percent with 1.54 points.

The 15-year FRM rate averaged 6.20 percent with 1.10 points. The previous week it was 6.19 with 1.16 points.

One-year ARMs increased to 5.84 from 5.81 percent with points decreasing from 1.11 to 1.05.

Mortgage applications volume was down 5.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week and 6.5 percent when unadjusted. Volume was 14.2 percent higher than during the same week one year earlier.

Jay Brinkmann, MBA's vice president of research and economics cautioned that,"Given the current turmoil in the mortgage market, week-to-week changes in the purchase applications index should be treated with a certain degree of caution. For example, the sudden exit of a major originator several weeks ago may have led to a bump up in applications over the last two weeks as those borrowers caught in the shutdown reapplied for mortgages at other institutions. The drop in applications we see here may be an indication that those borrowers have now been taken care of."

Refinancing applications as a percentage of total application volume was unchanged at 39.9 percent while the share of mortgage activity captured by adjustable rate mortgages decreased from 21 percent of total applications two weeks ago to 18.6 percent.