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Average fixed and ARM rates. Rate forecasts. Quotes on ARM indexes including COFI, MTA, LIBOR & Treasuries. Rate reset studies and reports. Mortgage rate litigation.

COFI Spikes

2.094% November index

Jan. 4, 2010

By staff

The Cost of Funds Index shot up more than 80 basis points during November. But COFI is quickly becoming irrelevant.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco reported Friday that the index was 2.094%, jumping from 1.259% in October. A year earlier, COFI was 3.155%.

November's COFI was the highest since January 2009, when the index stood at 2.455%.

The 11th District index is determined based on data submitted by 25 FHLB member institutions headquartered in Arizona, California and Nevada.

During November, just $38.5 billion in average total funds was used in the calculation of COFI, sinking from $90.2 billion a month earlier. Average total funds were just a fraction of the $407.4 billion used in April 2008's calculation -- indicating that just a few small institutions now account for all of the movement in the index.

Like COFI, the yield on the one-year Treasury bill is used as an index for adjustable-rate mortgages. The one-year finished November at 0.27%, lower than 0.37% at the end of October. But the one-year yield soared to 0.47% on Dec. 31.

Subprime ARMs frequently use the six-month London Interbank Offered Rate as the underlying index. LIBOR fell to 0.49% at the end of November from 0.58% at the end of October, according to LIBOR finished December at 0.43%.

The most recent Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey indicated ARM share stood at 3.8%.

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