Fixed rate mortgages continued to decline during the week ended January 19. The 30 year fixed rate mortgage, according to Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey has slipped 22 basis points since its most recent high during the week ended December 16, 2005 when it averaged 6.32. Last week the survey reported the rate as 6.10 percent. This rate was five basis points lower than reported the previous week and fees and points were also down from 0.6 to 0.5.

The 15-year fixed mortgage rates dropped four basis points to 5.67 percent from the week of January 12 and was down a full 24 basis points from its recent high during the week of December 22, 2005. Fees and points were down to 0.5 from 0.6 the previous week.

The 5/1 hybrid ARM averaged 5.75 last week compared to 5.76 the week before although fees and points were up to 0.6 from 0.5. The 1-year ARM, however, was up from 5.15 percent to 5.18 with fees and points static at 0.6.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey reported that rates were mixed with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declining to 6.04 percent from 6.07 percent the previous week and points increasing 0.01 to 1.24. Points include the origination fee and the survey universe is limited to 80 percent loan to value originations.

On the other hand, the 15-year fixed rate loan average increased slightly to 5.66 percent from 5.64 percent and points decreased to 1.14 from 1.23. The one-year ARM was also up, reaching 5.44 percent compared to 5.39 percent a week earlier and points increased to 0.95 from 0.92.

Mortgage applications were up 7.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the January 13 report but down a scant 0.2 percent on an unadjusted basis. Year-over-year activity continues to decline but was down only slightly, 0.4 percent, compared to the same week in January, 2005.

Refinancing was also down slightly but continued to hold a substantial market share. Refinancing applications represented 42.8 percent of all applications last week compared to 44.0 the previous week. The market share of adjustable rate mortgages slipped from 30.6 percent to 29.5 percent.