Mortgage rates moved higher for the second week in a row, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The 30-year fixed-rate average spiked to 3.8 percent with an average 0.6 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 3.68 percent a week ago and 4.21 percent a year ago. The jump of 12 basis points was the biggest gain by the 30-year fixed-rate average since November 2013 when it soared 19 basis points.
The 15-year fixed-rate average climbed to 3.02 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 2.94 percent a week ago and 3.32 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate surpassed 3 percent for the first time since March 19.
Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages were mixed. The five-year ARM average rose to 2.9 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.85 percent a week ago and 3.05 percent a year ago. The five-year ARM has stayed below 3 percent since March 12.
The one-year ARM average fell to 2.46 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.49 percent a week ago and 2.43 percent a year ago.
Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist, cited German government bond yields for the upturn.
“Mortgage rates rose this week to the highest level since the week of March 12 as a selloff in German bunds helped drive U.S. Treasury yields above 2.2 percent,” Kiefer said in a statement.
“The U.S. trade deficit reached $51.4 billion in March to the highest level since 2008. Also, the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index was unchanged in April, but manufacturing employment contracted as the index fell below 50 for the first time since May 2013.”
Meanwhile, as rates increased, mortgage applications fell off this week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, decreased 4.6 percent. The refinance index sank 8 percent, while the purchase index grew 1 percent.
The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 53 percent of all applications.
“Refinance volume dropped last week as rates in the U.S. increased sharply towards the end of the week, with signs of recovery in Europe lifting rates across the globe,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, said in a statement.
“Purchase activity increased slightly over the week, and the average loan amount for a purchase application reached a record high, a sign that the mix of purchase activity is still skewed toward higher priced homes.”