Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates erase almost all gains from past weeks

Fall after disappointing GDP estimate

While mortgage interest rates had been inching up over the past few weeks, a disappointing advance estimate on the second-quarter GDP sent mortgage rates right back down last week.

“Treasury yields fell last week following both the FOMC’s meeting and a disappointing advance estimate for second-quarter GDP,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said.

“Mortgage rates, which had moved up 7 basis points over the past three weeks, responded by erasing most of those gains, falling 5 basis points to 3.43% this week for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage,” Becketti said.

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(Source: Freddie Mac)

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.43% for the week ending in August 4, 2016. This is down from last week’s 3.48% and last year’s 3.91%.

The 15-year FRM averaged 2.74%, a decrease from last week’s 2.78% and last year’s 3.13%.

The five-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.73% this week, down from 2.78 last week and 2.94 last year.

“Mortgage rates have been below 3.5% every week since June 30. Borrowers are taking advantage of these low rates by refinancing,” Becketti said. “The latest Weekly Applications Survey results from the Mortgage Bankers Association show refinance activity up 55% since last year.”

Mortgage apps may be up from last year, but mortgage applications still posted a 3.5% drop from one week earlier, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 29 found.

In the second quarter, real gross domestic product, the value of everything a nation produces, grew at a rate of 1.2% from last year, according to the estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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