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Consumers Shy Away from Lenders

Average 30-year fixed-rate 4.40%

Nov. 29, 2010

Fixed rates edged higher. But the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage improved, as did the premium for a jumbo loan. New loan activity by consumers searching for a mortgage, meanwhile, was down for the second week in a row.

Edging up just 0.01 percent from last week, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.40 percent in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ended Wednesday.

An improvement in the spread between the jumbo 30-year fixed rate and the conforming 30-year fixed rate was noted in the Mortech- Mortgage Daily Mortgage Market Index report for the week ended Wednesday. Jumbo mortgages -- loans higher than $417,000 -- were 0.84 percent above the conforming loan rate compared to 0.87 percent a week earlier.

Movement in the 10-year Treasury yield suggests mortgage rates might be about the same as or lower in this week's reports.

A third of the panelists surveyed by for the week Nov. 24 to Dec. 1 had mortgage rates rising over the next week, while a quarter forecasted a decline. But a plurality -- 42 percent -- saw no changes ahead.

Like the 30-year, the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 0.01 percent higher than last week in Freddie's survey at 3.77 percent.

The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 0.03 percent less than Freddie's prior survey at 3.23 percent.

New mortgage activity was 14 percent lower last week, with the Mortgage Market Index declining to 250 from the previous week's level of 291. The refinance share was lower, decreasing to 54 percent from 57 percent. This week's share included a 39 percent rate-term share and a 15 percent cashout share.

It was the second consecutive week that both new activity and refinance share were lower.

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