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30-year At Highest Level in Nearly 1 Year

Average 30-year 6.63%

July 24, 2008


As the yield on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed to its highest level in nearly a year, the volume of 1003s fell.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed 37 basis points from the prior week to 6.63%, Freddie Mac reported in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending July 24. A year earlier, the 30-year averaged 6.69%.

The 30-year is at its highest point since Aug. 2, 2007, when it stood at 6.68%.

The 15-year fixed-rate averaged 6.18% during the most recent week, jumping from 5.78% a week earlier.

"Market concerns about rising inflation, further weakness in the housing market and greater probability that the Federal Reserve will raise short-term rates this year all combined to push mortgage rates higher this week," Freddie Chief Economist Frank Nothaft explained in the report. "Some of the key drivers to these concerns were consumer prices jumping 1.1 percent (annualized) in June -- the largest increase since September 2005 on a year-over-year basis -- coupled with consumer prices growing at a 5.0 percent clip (on a year-over-year basis), the strongest since February 1991."

Fixed-mortgage rates tend to move with the 10-year Treasury yield, which stood at 4.05% near midday, according to CNNMoney. A week ago, the 10-year yield was 3.97%.

Half of the 100 mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and "other industry experts" surveyed by Bankrate.com this week expects mortgage rates to rise further. Nearly one-third forecast a decrease, while 19% expect rates to remain with 2 BPS of their current levels over the next 35 to 45 days.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 6.16% this week, rising from 5.80% last week, Freddie said.

The average 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM was 5.49%, jumping from 5.10% seven days earlier, according to Freddie. The yield on the 1-year Treasury itself was 2.40% yesterday, rising from 2.16% seven days earlier, U.S. Treasury Department data indicated.

Bankrate.com reported the London Interbank Offered Rate yield at 3.14% as of yesterday. LIBOR, which is also used as an ARM index, was 3.09% as of July 16.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said the ARM share was 8.5% in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 18, off from 9.1% seven days prior.

Overall loan applications tracked by MBA were down 6% from a week earlier, pushing the Market Composite Index down to 489.6. Refinance activity was down 6%, leaving the share of refinance activity unchanged at 39%, while purchase activity was off 7%. Government loan applications, which are mostly FHA, were down 8%.

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

e-mail: [email protected]

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