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Mortgage Market Declines

Average 30-year fixed rate 5.03%

Oct. 29, 2009

By SAM GARCIA


Most mortgage rates were up 0.03% compared to seven days earlier, while 1003 loan applications declined. Indices on adjustable-rate mortgages, however, managed a small improvement.

Up 3 basis points from a week ago, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.03% in Freddie Mac's survey of 125 thrifts, credit unions, commercial banks and mortgage lenders for the week ended today. The 30-year averaged 6.46% a year ago.

For the month of September, Freddie's regulator -- the Federal Housing Finance Agency -- said the 30-year averaged 5.23%, down from 5.30% in August.

Freddie said the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.46%, also up 3 BPS from last week. FHFA noted that the 15-year jumped 15 BPS in September to 4.77%.

The weekly increase in fixed rates was in line with the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond, which was 3.48% during trading today compared to 3.44% one week ago.

"Economic data releases this week offered mixed signals as to the current state of the housing market," Freddie Chief Economist Frank Nothaft explained in the secondary lender's survey. "
For example, total existing home sales jumped 9.4% to an annualized rate of 5.57 million homes in September, the strongest pace since July 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors.

"However, new home sales unexpectedly fell 3.6 percent to 402,000 houses, the weakest since June of this year, based on figures from the Department of Commerce."

More than two-thirds of the 100 panelists surveyed by Bankrate.com for the week Oct. 29 to Nov. 4 expected rates to continue climbing, while one-quarter projected movement of no more than 2 BPS over the next 35 to 45 days and 8% forecasted a decline.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage edged up 2 BPS during the past seven days to 4.42%.

The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM came in at 4.57% this week, up 3 BPS from the previous week but lower than 5.38% last year at this time. The one-year ARM adjusts based on movement with the one-year Treasury yield, which was down 0.01% from last Wednesday to 0.39% yesterday.

The yield on the six-month London Interbank Offered Rate eaked out a 1 basis point decline from a week ago to 0.58% yesterday, Bankrate.com reported.

A 14 basis point widening last week of the spread between the one-year ARM and the 30-year fixed-rate average helped push the share of ARM applications to 6.9% in the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended Oct. 23 from 6.4% a week earlier.

MBA reported that refinance applications tumbled 16% from a week ago -- pushing the refinance share down to 62% from 65% seven days earlier and driving overall applications 12% lower on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Unadjusted purchase applications were up 5% -- though they were down 5% on a seasonally adjusted basis, MBA said.


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

e-mail:
[email protected]


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