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Jumbo Rates Dive

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While mortgage rates showed a slight improvement this week, the cost of a jumbo mortgage tumbled. But better rates weren’t enough to overcome a drop in conventional refinances.

Pricing inquiries by loan originators were down 5 percent, with the U.S. Mortgage Market Index for the week ended May 27 from Mortech Inc. and MortgageDaily.com declining to 222 from the prior Friday’s 233.

The index pales compared to a year ago, when it stood at 324.

Pulling down the latest index were refinances, with refinance inquiries down 6 percent. Refinance share edged down to 49 percent from half and was weaker than 52 percent during the same week in 2010. This week’s measure reflected a rate-term share of 36 percent and a cashout share of 13 percent.

Conventional mortgage inquiries were off 5 percent, while FHA and purchase activity each fell 3 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgage volume was down 4 percent, while ARM share edged up just past 10 percent from a hair shy of 10 percent.

The conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.74 percent, easing from 4.77 percent last week. At the same time, the jumbo decline was more pronounced, with the jumbo 30-year mortgage sinking to 5.12 percent from 5.32 percent. The disparate movement slashed the jumbo-conforming spread to 36 basis points from last week’s 55 BPS.

The spread between the conforming 15-year mortgage and the conforming 30-year was trimmed to 79 BPS from 80 BPS a week ago.

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