HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center with current rates and news

Keep up with current rates and related news at HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center. Rates are updated twice weekly based on data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and Freddie Mac‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). Freddie Mac’s PMMS only covers purchase mortgages. In addition, the PMMS looks at rates from the first three days of the week from lender websites, while the MBA survey covers the rates on apps collected over the prior full week.

PMMS 11/24/2021

Mortgage rates remained at 3.10% in the week ending Nov. 24. A year ago at this time, the average 30-year fixed-rate loan averaged just 2.72%.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said interest rate volatility has been low, despite the noise around the economy, inflation, and monetary policy. “For most of 2021, mortgage rates have stayed within half a percentage point, which is a smaller range than in past years.”

Mortgage rates tend to move in concert with the 10-year Treasury yield, which reached 1.67% on Nov. 23, up from 1.63% a week before.

MBA 11/24/2021

Mortgage applications increased 1.8% for the week ending Nov. 19, despite higher rates. The increase was mainly driven by the purchase index growing by 4.7% from the previous week, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Concurrently, the refinance index grew by 0.4% from the week prior.

Joel Kan, the MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a statement that purchase activity increased for the third straight week, as housing demand remains robust, even as the housing market approaches the typically slower holiday season.

“Both conventional and government loan applications increased, and the average loan size for a purchase loan was at $407,200, continuing its ongoing 2021 run of being mostly above $400,000,” Kan said.

Regarding refi activity, Kan added that “borrowers continue to lock in mortgages in anticipation of higher rates in the future.”  

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PMMS 11/18/2021

Mortgage rates strongly increased above 3% in the week ending November 18. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 3.10%, up 12 basis points from 2.98% the week prior. A year ago at this time, the average 30-year fixed-rate loan averaged just 2.72%.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said the combination of rising inflation and consumer spending is driving mortgage rates higher. “Shoppers looking to buy a home are fueling strong demand while ongoing inventory shortages are not improving in the presence of higher home prices,” he said in a statement.

MBA 11/17/2021

Refinance mortgage loan applications dipped 31% year-to-year on the week ending Nov. 12. The refi volume decreased 5% compared to the previous week. Meanwhile, applications to purchase a new home declined 6% in one year. However, they were up 2% in comparison to the previous week.

Overall, the Market Composite Index, a measure of the mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.8% compared to the previous week and 23% year-to-year. Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at the MBA, said refi applications decreased for the seventh time in eight weeks, as mortgage rates increased following two weeks of declines.

The trade group estimates the average contract 30-year fixed-rate for conforming loans ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.20%, four basis points higher than the previous week. For jumbo loans (greater than $548,250), it remained at 3.26%.

PMMS 11/10/2021

Mortgage rates fell below 3% in the week ending November 10. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 2.98% last week, falling 11 basis points from 3.09% the week prior. A year ago at this time, the average 30-year fixed-rate loan averaged 2.84%.

“Despite the re-acceleration of economic growth, the recent bond rally drove mortgage rates down for the second consecutive week,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “These low mortgage rates, combined with the tailwind of first-time homebuyers entering the market, means that purchase demand will remain strong into next year. However, affordability pressures continue to be an ongoing concern for homebuyers.”

MBA 11/10/2021

Mortgage applications increased 5.5% from the previous week. Although overall activity remains close to January 2020 lows, homeowners acted on the decrease in rates. Refinance activity was up 7 percent overall, with gains in both conventional and government refinances.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.16% from 3.24%.

“Purchase applications were also strong last week, increasing just under 3% and down only 4% from last year’s pace,” Kan added.

PMMS 11/04/2021

The average 30-year-fixed rate mortgage dropped to 3.09% during the week ending Nov. 4, down from 3.14% the week prior, according to the latest Freddie Mac PMMS Mortgage Survey. 

Most economists believe mortgage rates will climb following as the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy. 

“While mortgage rates fell after several weeks on the rise, we expect future upticks due to stronger economic data and as the Federal Reserve pulls back on its stimulus,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement.

The 15-year-fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.35% last week, down from 2.37% the week prior. A year ago at this time, it averaged 2.32%. The tapering will begin soon thanks to economic “substantial further progress,” according to the central bank. 

MBA 11/03/2021

Mortgage applications decreased 3.3% from the previous week ending October 29, according to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association survey. 

Mortgage rates also declined. The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with conforming loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.24% from 3.3% – the first decrease since August. 

“Mortgage rates decreased for the first time since August, as concerns about supply-chain bottlenecks, waning consumer confidence, weaker economic growth, and rising inflation pushed Treasury yields lower,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. 

“Most of the decline in rates came later in the week, which is likely why refinance applications declined to the lowest level since January 2020, and the overall share of activity fell to the lowest since July 2021,” Kan added. 

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