Home loan rates ticked up this past week, driving down overall activity — especially refinances. The only category not to lose ground from the previous week was purchase financing.
As of the week ended March 6, the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from LoanSifter/Optimal Blue and Mortgage Daily was 186.
The index is determined based on average per-user product-and-pricing inquiries pulled by clients of LoanSifter.
Leading the decline from the week ended Feb. 27, 2015, were inquiries for refinances, which fell 12 percent. But refinance activity ascended 42 percent from the same week in 2014.
Refinance share narrowed to 58.9 percent from 62.1 percent in the previous report but was wider than 46.8 percent in the year-earlier report. The current share was comprised of a 43.0 rate-term share and a 15.9 percent cashout share.
A 10 percent decline from seven days earlier was recorded for conventional loan inquiries, while the category was up 6 percent from the week ended March 7, 2014.
Inquiries for adjustable-rate mortgages fell more than 5 percent and were off by nearly a quarter compared to the same week last year. ARM share widened to 9.1 percent from 8.9 percent but has thinned considerably from 13.6 percent twelve months earlier.
Jumbo business was down nearly 5 percent for the week but has improved 12 percent on a year-over-year basis. Jumbo share was 10.3 percent, widening from the previous report’s 10.0 percent but off from 10.4 percent in the year-earlier report.
Interest rates on jumbo mortgages were 13 basis points higher than conforming rates. The jumbo-conforming spread widened from 10 BPS in the last report and 8 BPS one year previous.
The only category that didn’t see a week-over-week loss was purchase financing, which rose less than a percent but was still down 13 percent for the year.
Overall activity was down on increased rates, with 30-year fixed rates averaging 4.150 percent on conforming loans, up 4 BPS from the previous report but 50 BPS lower than in the same week during 2014.
Borrowers seeking 15-year mortgages were quoted rates that were 83 BPS lower than on 30-year loans. The spread was 82 BPS a week earlier and 102 BPS a year earlier.
Mortgage Daily’s analysis of Treasury market activity indicates that fixed interest rates on home loans could be around 9 BPS higher
in the next Mortgage Market Index report.
Behind the increase was a strong employment report.