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Rates May Rise

Average 30-year 6.63%

July 5, 2007


While fixed mortgage rates fell during the latest week, they may be headed higher. Meanwhile, purchase activity heated up as refinances waned.

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 6.63% for the week ending July 3, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey announced today. The 30-year was 4 basis points lower than last week and 16 BPS better than a year earlier. At 6.69%, the 30-year was highest in the North Central region of the country. It was lowest in the Southeast -- at 6.56%.

The 15-year fixed rate averaged 6.30% in the latest week, Freddie said. The 15-year was also 4 BPS better than a week earlier.

"Long-term mortgage rates continued to move lower for a third consecutive week, in part reflecting a moderation in core inflation," chief economist Frank Nothaft said in Freddie's announcement. "In the statement accompanying their decision to leave the target federal funds rate unchanged, the Fed noted that core inflation had declined recently, though a 'sustained' moderation is still to be seen, and signaled that inflation risk continues to figure prominently in their policy decisions."

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, a benchmark for fixed mortgage rates, jumped 6 BPS this morning to 5.10%, 1 BPS lower than a week earlier. MarketWatch blamed the increase on solid employment data released today.

Of the mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and "other industry experts" surveyed by Bankrate.com for the week ending July 11, 45% expect rates to rise, 37% see no change and the rest forecast a decline.

The average five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage was 6.29%, down 1 BPS from a week earlier, Freddie said. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 5.71% -- climbing 6 BPS from the previous week. The 1-year Treasury itself was 4.97% as of Monday, just 1 BPS higher than a week earlier, according to Federal Reserve Data.

Adjustable-rate mortgages accounted for 21% of applications during the week ending June 29, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest survey released today. The prior week's ARM share was 20%.

Weekly mortgage applications were mostly flat, MBA reported. The Purchase Index was up 2% from the prior week while the Refinance Index was down 3%. Refinances represented 38% of the latest week's total applications, down about 1% for the week. Applications for Federal Housing Administration-insured loans were up 4%.

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

e-mail: [email protected]

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