Mortgage rates rise sharply
30-year fixed mortgage rates jump
Mortgage rates saw sharp increases week-over-week, while overall mortgage activity dropped, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said in its most recent mortgage report.
According to the MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 8, 2013, each of the five mortgage types analyzed experienced weekly increases in average interest rates.
Average rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $417,500 or less jumped from an average of 3.70 percent to 3.81 percent week-over-week.
Meanwhile, average rates for 30-year jumbo (loan balances greater than $417,500) 30-year fixed mortgages rose to 3.90 percent from 3.80 percent the previous week, and FHA-backed 30-year fixed mortgages rose to an average of 3.53 percent from 3.47 percent one week earlier.
Additionally, shorter-term 15-year fixed mortgages increased to an average rate of 3.01 percent from 2.96 percent in the same time frame, while 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) saw an increase from 2.55 percent to 2.62 percent.
“The announcement of stronger than anticipated job growth last week led to an increase in interest rates, with the 30 year fixed mortgage rate in our survey reaching the highest level in more than six months,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics, said in a statement.
Mortgage activity falls on weekly basis
On a week-over-week basis, overall mortgage activity dropped 4.7 percent, the MBA said.
The drop in activity was led by a fall in refinance activity. The MBA’s Refinance Index fell 5 percent on a weekly basis and the share of total mortgage activity associated with refinancing fell to 76 percent of all applications – down from 77 percent the previous week.
“Refinance applications declined as a result, but remain high given the steady flow of HARP applications,” Fratantoni said.
Also, the MBA’s Purchase Index fell 1 percent week-over-week, but came in 9 percent above what was seen at this time last year.