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COFI Falls For 6th Consecutive Month

Monthly data from FHLB San Francisco

August 1, 2001


The 11th District Monthly Cost of Funds Index (COFI) fell to 4.498% in June from 4.745 percent the prior month, according to an announcement yesterday from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLB). This is the sixth consecutive month that the COFI has fallen. In June of last year, the index was reported at 5.537%.

The COFI is one of many indices used by mortgage lenders to adjust the interest rate on adjustable rate mortgages. The monthly COFI is computed from data reported by savings institutions that are members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. For June 2001, 48 institutions reported COFI data.

The drop in COFI will impact rates on existing COFI mortgage loans. Many COFI programs offer teaser rates that initially give the borrower a rate lower than the margin plus the index, so the impact on these initial rates is not direct. Freddie Mac reported last week that the average 1-year adjustable rate mortgage -- which uses Treasury securities with a remaining life of one year as an index -- jumped 10 BPS to 5.72 percent. Freddie's number reflects the average interest rate given to borrowers, not the index. Freddie reported that the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage improved 5 basis points from the prior week to 7.03%, the lowest it has been since April this year.

Sam Garcia has been in mortgage lending since 1980, and is managing editor of MortgageDaily.com. He also owns and operates CloseNow.com, a real estate portal site.

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