The Washington Post

Mortgage rates resume downward course

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

After a slight uptick last week, mortgage rates wandered back down, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Mortgage rate chart for July 17

The 30-year fixed-rate average slipped to 4.13 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 4.15 percent a week ago and 4.37 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed rate has fallen in four of the past five weeks.

The 15-year fixed-rate average dropped to 3.23 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.24 percent a week ago and 3.41 percent a year ago. Since starting the year at 3.55 percent, the 15-year fixed rate has plummeted 32 basis points.

Hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages also fell. The five-year ARM average edged down to 2.97 percent with an average 0.4 point, the fourth week in a row it has stayed below 3 percent. It was 2.99 percent a week ago and 3.17 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average declined to 2.39 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.4 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were little changed amid a week of light economic reports,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

“Of the few releases, industrial production rose by 0.2 percent in June, below the market consensus forecast. Also, the producer price index for final demand rose 0.4 percent in June, rebounding from a 0.2 percent decline the prior month.”

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

The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, dropped 3.6 percent. The refinance index fell 0.1 percent, while the purchase index sank 8 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 54 percent of all applications.

For more Real Estate news, follow @KathyOrtonWP and @PostRealEstate and visit our Facebook page. 


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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