Mortgage rates moved higher again this week, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 3.76 percent with an average 0.6 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 3.69 percent a week ago and 4.28 percent a year ago. Since hitting a 21-month low of 3.59 percent earlier this month, the 30-year fixed rate has wandered upward the past two weeks.
The 15-year fixed-rate average rose 3.05 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 2.99 percent a week ago and 3.33 percent a year ago. After five weeks in a row below 3 percent, the 15-year fixed rate climbed above that mark for the first time since early January.
Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages were mostly flat. The five-year ARM average held steady at 2.97 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as it was a week ago. It was 3.05 percent a year ago.
The one-year ARM average moved higher to 2.45 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.42 percent a week ago.
“Mortgage rates rose for the second consecutive week as 10-year Treasury yields surged,” Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist, said in a statement. “Housing starts declined 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted pace of 1.065 million units, and housing permits dipped 0.7 percent in January. However, home builders remain confident about new home sales, although slightly tempered from last month as the NAHB Housing Market Index slipped 2 points to 55 in February.”
Following the rise in mortgage rates, mortgage applications were down last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, decreased 13.2 percent. The refinance index plummeted 16 percent, while the purchase index fell 7 percent.
The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 66 percent of all applications.
“Mortgage rates increased to their highest level since the beginning of the year last week, and application volume dropped sharply as a result, particularly for refinances,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, said in a statement.
“Refinance volume fell particularly for larger loans, as evidenced by the decline of almost $25,000 in the average loan size for a refinance loan.”