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Weak Week for Originators

Average 30-year 4.81%

Feb. 4, 2011

By SAM GARCIA MortgageDaily.com


Mortgage rates inched up and could surge by the time next week's reports are delivered. As new activity softened, more borrowers opted for an adjustable rate.

Just 1 basis point higher than last week, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.81 percent in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ended Feb. 4. The 30-year came in at 5.01 percent during the same week last year.

The spread between the conforming 30-year and the jumbo 30-year was cut to 70 BPS this week from 73 BPS last week based on the Mortech-Mortgage Daily Mortgage Market Index report for the week ended Wednesday.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which tends to be followed by mortgage rates, closed at 3.58 percent Thursday, according to data published by the Department of the Treasury. A week earlier, the 10-year yielded 3.42 percent. The 16-basis-point increase suggests that mortgage rates -- which moved nominally higher this week -- will likely surge in next week's reports.

Mortgage rates will be increasing at least 3 BPS over the next week based on panelists' predictions at Bankrate.com, with 59 percent of those surveyed for the week Feb. 3 to Feb. 9 forecasting a rise. No change was projected by 35 percent, and 6 percent expected a decline.

Moving 1 basis point in the opposite direction as the 30-year, Freddie quoted the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.08 percent, lower than 4.09 percent seven days earlier.

Freddie said that the average five-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage was 3.69 percent, also 1 basis point below last Thursday.

No change occurred with the one-year ARM, which averaged 3.26 percent, Freddie said. The one-year was better, however, than 4.22 percent at the same point last year. Its index, the yield on the one-year Treasury, climbed to 0.29 percent yesterday from 0.25 percent last Thursday, the Treasury Department reported. The six-month LIBOR was unchanged on Wednesday from a week earlier at 0.46 percent, according to Bankrate.com.

ARMs accounted for 5.5 percent of activity in the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended Jan. 28. The share was 5.2 percent seven days earlier.

New mortgage activity was down 15 percent this week based on the Mortgage Market Index. The refinance share rose to 51 percent from the previous week's 49 percent as purchases had a sharper decline than refinance transactions.


Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com in 2000.

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