Mortgage rates hold steady heading into holiday weekend

August 28, 2014

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

As the summer winds down, mortgage rates are still showing little enthusiasm for moving much in either direction.

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According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average was unchanged at 4.1 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 4.51 percent a year ago. Since late June, the 30-year fixed rate hasn’t been above 4.14 percent or below 4.1 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate average inched up to 3.25 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 3.23 percent a week ago and 3.54 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate has drifted between 3.27 and 3.22 since late June.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages were up slightly. The five-year ARM average ticked up to 2.97 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.95 percent a week ago and 3.24 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average edged up to 2.39 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.38 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were little changed following mixed housing news,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

Existing home sales rose for the fourth consecutive month to an annualized pace of 5.15 million, the highest of the year. On the other hand, new home sales fell for the third consecutive month to an annualized rate of 412,000 units. Also, the [Standard & Poor’s]/Case-Shiller national home price index confirmed the slowing in national house-price appreciation that has occurred in other metrics, with the seasonally-adjusted national index down 0.1 percent in June but on a year-over-year basis up a solid 6.2 percent.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications showed an uptick last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, increased 2.8 percent. The refinance index rose 3 percent, while the purchase index grew 3 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 56 percent of all applications, its highest level since March.

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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