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Market Conditions Improve

Average 30-year fixed rate 6.35%

July 3, 2008

By SAM GARCIA


The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell for the first time in six weeks. Applications for new loans were also better.

In Freddie Mac's survey of 125 thrifts, commercial banks and mortgage lending companies for the week ended July 3, the 30-year averaged 6.35%, falling from 6.45% the previous week.

This is the first time the 30-year has fallen since the week ending May 22. A year ago, the average stood at 6.63%.

The 15-year fell 0.12% from the prior week to 5.92%, Freddie said.

Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie, explained that rates fell following the release of the Federal Reserve's policy statement which indicated inflation is expected to moderate later this year. Also impacting rates was a "timid increase in core personal consumption prices."

"According to recent trading activity in federal funds futures, market participants lowered somewhat their expectations of future rate hike hikes by the Fed compared to last week," the economist added.

The 10-year Treasury yield, which fixed-mortgage rates closely track, was 3.97% early today, falling from 4.06% seven days earlier, CNNMoney reported.

Just one-in-five of the 100 panelists surveyed by Bankrate.com for the week July 3 to July 9 predict rates will increase by at least 3 basis points during the next 35 to 45 days, while 43% see rates falling and 36% forecast no change.

The the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.78% in Freddie's latest survey, declining from 5.99 seven days earlier.

The average 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM was 5.17%, 10 BPS lower than last week, according to Freddie.

Among ARM indices, the 1-year Treasury yield was 2.35% yesterday, data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury indicated. The 1-year yield tumbled from 2.48% last Wednesday.

The 6-month London Interbank Offered Rate, another ARM index, was 3.12% yesterday, falling from 3.19% the prior week, Bankrate.com reported.

ARMs accounted for 9% of applications tracked by the Mortgage Bankers Association for the week ending June 27, unchanged from a week earlier.

MBA said overall 1003 loan applications increased 4% during the latest week, bringing the Market Composite Index to 477.7. The increase reflected a 5% rise in refinances -- which accounted for 37% of total activity, rising from 36% the previous week. Purchase applications increased 3%.


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

e-mail: [email protected]



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