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FHA Activity Jumps

FHA Activity JumpsAverage 30-year fixed rate 6.15%

May 10, 2007


Applications for Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages led a small increase in overall activity. Meanwhile, mortgage rates held steady.

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 6.15%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey announced today. The 30-year nudged down 1 basis point from the prior week but was 43 BPS better than a year earlier.

The 15-year fixed rate averaged 5.87%, unchanged from a week earlier, the survey indicated.

“Low employment growth in April — the slowest pace since November 2004 — and downward revisions to both February and March job growth tempered market concerns of future increases in the rate of inflation,” said Freddie Senior Economist Frank Nothaft in the survey.

The 10-year Treasury yield, a benchmark for fixed mortgage rates, was 4.66 % early today, about 1 basis point higher than a week ago.

Rates will remain at current levels during the next 45 days, according to 80 of the 100 mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and other industry experts surveyed by The remaining panel members were evenly split over whether rates would rise or fall.’s analyst, Greg McBride, noted that mortgage rates will be hardly affected by the Fed’s upcoming statement, “Unless they spook the markets.”

Adjustable-rate mortgage yields rose, with the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM average up 2 BPS from the prior week to 5.89% and the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM average climbing 6 BPS, Freddie reported. The yield on the 1-year Treasury itself was 4.91% Tuesday, up from 4.89% a week prior, according to Federal Reserve data.

ARM loan applicants accounted for 18% of all applications tracked in the latest Mortgage Bankers Association survey of mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. ARM share nudged up slightly from the prior week.

At 680.7, MBA’s Market Composite Index reflected a 4% rise in 1003 loan applications, according to the survey. Overall applications were boosted by 9% jump in government applications, a 5% increase in refinances and a 3% rise in purchases. Refinances continued to account for 42% of overall application activity.

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