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Newsfeed: U.S Mortgage Rates Fall for the First Time in 8-Weeks

By Bob Mason


In the week ending April 28, 2022, mortgage rates fell for the first time in eight weeks.

30-year fixed rates slipped by 1 basis point to 5.10%. 30-year fixed rates rose by 11 basis points in the week prior.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 212 basis points.

30-year fixed rates were up by 16 basis points since November 2018’s last peak of 4.94%.

Economic Data from the Week

Core durable goods orders and consumer sentiment drew interest on Tuesday. The stats were market positive, with core durable goods orders rising by 1.1% in March.

Consumer sentiment held steady in April, which was also market positive. The CB Consumer Confidence Index slipped from 107.6 to 107.3.

The stats had a muted impact on mortgage rates, however, as market jitters over the economic outlook tested support for riskier assets.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of April-28, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates fell by 1 basis point to 5.10% in the week. This time last year, rates had stood at 2.98%. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates rose by 2 basis points to 4.40% in the week. Rates were up by 209 basis points from 2.31% a year ago. The average fee increased from 0.8 points to 0.9 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates increased by 3 basis points to 3.78%. Rates were up by 114 basis points from 2.64% a year ago. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.3 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Home price growth and a surge in mortgage rates have impacted purchase demand.
  • Buyers are managing the current mortgage rate environment by moving to adjustable mortgage rates, relocating from expensive cities, and moving to more affordable suburbs.
  • Weaker demand is likely to soften home price growth to a more sustainable pace.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending April 22, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances rose from 5.20% to 5.37%. Points increased from 0.66 to 0.67 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA increased from 5.11% to 5.29%. Points fell from 0.90 to 0.88 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 4.76% to 4.86%. Points rose from 0.46 to 0.47 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 8.3% in the week ending April 22. The Index declined by 5% in the previous week.

The Refinance Index fell by 9% and was 71% lower than the same week one year ago. In the week prior, the Index fell by 8%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased from 35.7% to 35.0% of total applications. In the previous week, the share fell from 37.1% to 35.7%.

According to the MBA,

  • Applications continued to decline as mortgage rates hit their highest level since 2009.
  • Overall application activity fell to the lowest level since 2018.
  • The latest fall in purchase applications is a sign of possible home sales weakness in the months ahead.

For the week ahead

From the US, it is a big week ahead. On the economic data front, ISM survey PMIs will influence this Monday and Wednesday, with Wednesday’s ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI the main driver.

The US labor market will also be in focus, with the ADP nonfarm employment change figures and official nonfarm numbers due out on Wednesday and Friday.

The main event of the week, however, is the FED’s monetary policy decision. A larger-than-expected rate hike would deliver another spike in mortgage rates.

News updates on the war in Ukraine will also need monitoring throughout the week.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire.


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