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New Activity Lower


Fixed rates edged higher and a hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage was up 5 basis points. But the one-year ARM improved, as did the jumbo spread. New activity, meanwhile, was down for the second week in a row.

Edging up just a basis point from last week, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.40 percent in Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ended Wednesday. A year ago, the 30-year was 4.78 percent.

A monthly report from Freddie’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, indicated that the 30-year fell to 4.46 percent in October from 5.58 percent a month earlier.

An improvement in the spread between the jumbo 30-year fixed rate and the conforming 30-year fixed rate was noted in the Mortech- Mortgage Daily Mortgage Market Index report for the week ended Wednesday. The spread fell to 84 BPS from last week’s 87 BPS.

Since Freddie’s prior survey on Nov. 18, the 10-year Treasury yield has fallen 3 BPS to 2.87 percent, according to Treasury Department data. Given the corresponding one-basis-point rise in the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage since last week, mortgage rates might be about the same as or lower in next week’s reports.

A third of the panelists surveyed by for the week Nov. 24 to Dec. 1 had mortgage rates rising at least 3 BPS over the next week, while a quarter forecasted a decline. But a plurality — 42 percent — saw no changes ahead.

Like the 30-year, the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 1 basis point higher than last week in Freddie’s survey at 3.77 percent. FHFA reported that the 15-year fell 33 BPS from September to 4.24 percent last month.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM moved 5 BPS higher in Freddie’s survey to 3.45 percent.

But the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3 BPS less than Freddie’s prior survey at 3.23 percent. The one-year was 4.35 percent during the same week last year. The Treasury Department reported the underlying one-year Treasury yield at 0.28 percent today, up 1 basis point over the past seven days.

There was no weekly change in the six-month LIBOR, which reported at 0.44 percent Tuesday.

Last week, the 30-year fixed rate was 22 BPS higher, while the one-year ARM was unchanged. But the ARM share reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association for its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended Nov. 19 was unchanged at 5.3 percent.

New mortgage activity was 14 percent lower this week, with the Mortgage Market Index declining to 250 from the previous week’s level of 291. The refinance share was lower, decreasing to 54 percent from 57 percent. This week’s share included a 39 percent rate-term share and a 15 percent cashout share.

It was the second consecutive week that both new activity and refinance share were lower.

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