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FHA 1003s Surge

FHA 1003s SurgeAverage 30-year fixed-rate mortgage 6.37%

July 10, 2008


Following a brief reprieve, mortgage rates continued higher. A surge in FHA loan activity, however, helped overall loan applications improve.

After declining last week, the average 30-year fixed rate rose to 6.37% from 6.35% seven days earlier, Freddie Mac reported in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending July 10. During the same week last year, the 30-year averaged 6.73%.

The 15-year averaged 5.91% this week — just one basis point above the previous week, Freddie said.

Fixed rates tend to track the 10-year Treasury yield, which was 3.80% near midday, according to CNNMoney. A week ago, the 10-year yielded 3.97%.

Of the 100 mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and “other industry experts” surveyed by for the week July 10 to July 16, 46% forecast falling mortgage rates over the next 35 to 45 days, while 31% expect rates to rise at least 3 BPS and 23% see no change ahead.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.82%, climbing from 5.78% the previous week, Freddie’s report indicated.

Freddie noted the average 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM was unchanged at 5.17%. The yield on the 1-year Treasury itself closed yesterday at 2.21%, falling from 2.35% a week prior, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury.

The yield on another ARM index, the London Interbank Offered Rate, was 3.10% yesterday, according to The previous week, LIBOR yielded 3.12%.

ARMs accounted for 10% of applications tracked in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 4, increasing from 9% the week before.

MBA said overall applications rose 8% from the prior week on a seasonally adjusted basis, bringing the Market Composite Index to 513.4.

Freddie’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft commented, “The number of mortgage applications for home purchases over the week ending July 4th was nearly 10 percent above the over five-year low set just two weeks prior, despite the holiday break.”

Refinance applications rose 9%, MBA reported. The refinance share of overall applications consequently edged higher to 37%.

Government applications surged 20%, according to MBA. The trade group noted government activity is “largely FHA.”

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