Housing MarketMortgageMortgage RatesReal Estate

Purchase mortgage rates drop, ending 2-week climb 

Rates this week averaged 5.70%, compared to 5.81% the previous week, according to Freddie Mac PMMS

Purchase mortgage rates this week dropped 11 basis points to 5.70%, according to the latest Freddie Mac PMMS Index, ending a two-week climb following the Federal Reserve’s rate hike earlier this month.

A year ago at this time, 30-year fixed rate purchase rates were at 2.98%. The PMMS, a government-sponsored enterprise index, accounts solely for purchase mortgages reported by lenders during the past three days.

“The rapid rise in mortgage rates has finally paused, largely due to the countervailing forces of high inflation and the increasing possibility of an economic recession,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

Another index showed the 30-year conforming rates also slid from last week.

Black Knight’s Optimal Blue OBMMI pricing engine, which includes some refinancing data — but excludes cash-out refis to avoid skewing averages – measured the 30-year conforming rate at 5.89% Wednesday, down slightly from last week’s 5.9%. The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo was at 5.42% Wednesday, up from 5.33% from the previous week, according to the Black Knight index.

Khater expects the dip in mortgage rates will also slow down home price growth.  

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“This pause in rate activity should help the housing market rebalance from the bottleneck growth of a seller’s market to a more normal pace of home appreciation,” Khater said. 

Mortgage application volume rose 0.7% last week led by refinancing applications and a slight uptick in conventional loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. After increasing 65 basis points during the past three weeks, the 30-year fixed rate declined 14 basis points last week, the MBA said. 

Refi application rose 1.9% from the previous week and purchase application marginally increased 0.1% from a week earlier.

Mortgage rates tend to move in concert with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield, which reached 3.10% Wednesday, down from 3.16% a week before. The federal funds rate doesn’t directly dictate mortgage rates, but it does steer market activity to create higher rates and reduce demand.

Following the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike of 75 basis points on June 15, mortgage rates have been showing an upward trend for the past two weeks.

According to Freddie Mac, the 15-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage averaged 4.83% with an average of 0.9 point, down from last week’s 4.92%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.26% a year ago. 

The 5-year ARM averaged 4.50% up from 4.41% the previous week. The product averaged 2.54% a year ago. 

Economists expect the tightening monetary policy will reduce originations in 2022 and 2023. The MBA expects loan origination volume to drop about 40% to about $2.4 trillion this year, from last year’s $4 trillion. Meanwhile, the MBA expects 6.53 million existing and new home sales in 2022, compared to 6.9 million in 2021. 

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