Mortgage rates ticking lower once againby Tim Manni
Rates on the most popular types of mortgages slipped a little according to HSH.com’s Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by four basis points (0.04 percent) to 4.49 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by three basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.34 percent.
Mortgage rates: Fairly flat
“Mortgage rates have been holding fairly flat for the last four weeks now, which is not a bad thing given the strong upward moves of the spring and early summer,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. “Such pauses have value, as they allow potential homebuyers a chance to catch up and decide how best to proceed.”
Mortgage and bond markets have calmed appreciably since the Fed started discussing its working plans for removing extraordinary economic supports in May, June and July. Markets now await data strong enough to confirm expectations that a change will be coming, or signals from the Fed on the timing of the first move.
It’s a waiting game
“It’s a waiting game at the moment,” adds Gumbinger. “Mortgage rates are wandering upward on stronger data and downward on weaker data, but are likely to hold fairly steady until the path is clearer. Given the mixed nature of the economic news lately, clarity may not come and the road ahead may be murky for some time.”
Expectations for mortgage rates over the next couple of months can be seen in HSH.com’s new Two-month forecast for mortgage rates.
Mortgage applications down all around
Despite rather flat mortgage rates last week, mortgage applications declined.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, overall mortgage applications were down 4.7 percent for the week ending August 9. Purchase applications were down 5 percent and refinance applications were down 4 percent from the week prior.
Refinance applications remained at 63 percent of all applications, yet the HARP share of all refinance applications decreased to 1 percent to 35 percent, for the week ending August 9.
ARMs increased slightly to 6 percent of all applications, while FHA and VA share of purchase applications was down to 29 percent.