Mortgage rates are falling again

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Rates pulled back following a February spike

Just in time for the spring housing market, conditions for buyers are improving again. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports mortgage rates fell last week after rising toward 8%. Not surprisingly, demand for mortgages increased.

“Mortgage rates dropped below 7% last week for most loan types because of incoming economic data showing a weaker service sector and a less robust job market, with an increase in the unemployment rate and downward revisions to job growth in prior months,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist. 

Fratantoni said mortgage applications for home purchases increased 7.1% but that was still 11% below last year’s level. 

“By contrast, refinance volume picked up by 12%, with a larger, 24% increase in the government refinance index," he said. "While these percentage increases are large, the level of refinance activity remains quite low, and we expect that most of this activity reflects borrowers who took out a loan at or near the peak of rates in the past two years.”

The average rates

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($766,550 or less) decreased to 6.84% from 7.02%, with points decreasing to 0.65 from 0.67 for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $766,550) decreased to 7.04% from 7.21%, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.36 for 80% LTV loans.  

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 6.77% from 6.86%, with points increasing to 0.95 from 0.90 for 80% LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.37 percent from 6.66 percent, with points increasing to 0.77 from 0.67 for 80% LTV loans. 

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs was unchanged at 6.38%, with points decreasing to 0.52 from 0.67 for 80% LTV loans. 

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