Mortgage rates level off

September 12, 2013

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Mortgage rates leveled off this week, according to the latest data released by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate average was unchanged from the previous week at 4.57 percent with an average 0.8 point. A year ago, it was 3.55 percent. The 30-year fixed rate reached its highest level since July 2011, 4.58 percent, three weeks ago. It has remained above 4.5 percent for four weeks.

(Pam Tobey/The Washington Post)
(Pam Tobey/The Washington Post)

The 15-year fixed-rate average also remained the same as a week ago at 3.59 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was 2.85 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate hit its highest level since July 2011, 3.6 percent, three weeks ago. It has stayed above 3 percent since early June.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages showed modest declines. The five-year ARM dropped to 3.22 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.28 percent a week ago. The one-year ARM fell to 2.67 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was down from 2.71 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were little changed this week following a mixed employment report,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. “The economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which was below the market consensus forecast, and revisions subtracted another 74,000 from the prior two months. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent which was the lowest since December 2008.”

After a slight uptick last week, mortgage applications resumed their slide, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, plunged 13.5 percent from the previous week. The Refinance Index plummeted 20 percent, falling to its lowest level since June 2009. It has fallen 71 percent since early May. The Purchase Index was down 3 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity sank to 57 percent of total applications, its lowest level since April 2010. Refinances had accounted for more than 80 percent of applications earlier this year.

Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.
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Kathy Orton · September 12, 2013