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30-Year Average Above 6%

30-Year Average Above 6%Apps fall, MBA says

November 14, 2003


As rates continued their upward path for the second consecutive week, refinance mortgage applications plunged.

Rising rates helped push refinance mortgage application volume down by 10.1%, with the Refinance Index falling to 2084.2, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Nov. 7. The index is far below the record high at May’s end — when the refinance boom peaked. A year ago, the survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) showed the Refinance Index at 4825.6.

Refinances accounted for 50.9% of total applications, edging down from the prior week, said the MBA.

Down 7.1% from its surge the previous week, the Purchase Index fell to 375.4. At the same time last year, the MBA reported the measure of purchase money applications stood at 333.3.

Accordingly, overall mortgage applications decreased by 8.6% — bringing the Market Composite Index to 626.0, said the MBA. The index was reported at 992.3 a year ago.

In its latest Primary Mortgage Market SurveyFreddie Mac reported the average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage moved up 5 basis points (BPS) to 6.03%. Last year at this time, it was 9 BPS lower.

Up 8 BPS from the previous week’s average, the 15-year came in at 5.39%, said Freddie.

The one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) average nudged up to 3.76%, according to Freddie’s survey. Meanwhile, the MBA reported that the ARM share of activity increased slightly to 26.6%.

“ARM rates in particular will continue to be very attractive to some homeowners,” said Freddie’s chief economist Frank Nothaft in an announcement. “Although our economic forecast doesn’t call for a large increase in ARMs going forward since fixed-rate mortgage rates are expected to remain at historically low levels for some time to come.

“Speculation that the Fed will not raise interest rates anytime soon should help restrain any upward pressure on mortgage rates,” added Nothaft.

According to, “the picture will become clearer three months from now, when Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, delivers the first of his twice-a-year talks to Congress about monetary policy and his economic outlook.”

Meanwhile, a 46% of the website’s panel of mortgage industry experts predicted rates will remain the same in the next 30-45 days, while 27% said they would go down and the same percentage predicted a rise.

As of Thursday’s close, the 10-year Treasury note was trading at 99 26/32, while last Thursday it reportedly traded at 98 21/32. The yield fell 0.14% from the prior week to 4.27%.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for


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