Mortgage rates not done falling

Treasury Dollar BillRates on the most popular types of mortgages eased a little, according to’s Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by two basis points (0.02 percent) to 3.72 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by a single basis point, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 2.67 percent.

“The mixed bag of economic signals seen lately seems to have investors more pensive than they have been recently,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of “Although pretty solid as a group, upward momentum in housing has lessened, consumer moods have turned a little darker, and even the Fed has lowered its expectations for growth for the rest of 2013 a bit.”

Adds Gumbinger, “Rates have been firmer in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the last quarter of 2012, and that firmness may be based upon improving economic data. For rates to move much higher from here, we’ll need to see increased signs of revival, most notably in the job market. Until that occurs, rates are likely to remain fairly well tethered at or near present levels.”

Mortgage rates down, applications up

Playing off the whims of mortgage rates, mortgage applications took a positive turn last week, increasing by 7.7 percent from the week prior, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA’s refinance index was up 8 percent for week ending March 22, while the purchase index rose 7 percent.

Refinances continue to dominate, making up three quarters of all mortgage applications last week. HARP refinances dwindled some, dropping to 29 percent of all refinance applications, from 31 percent the week ending March 15.

The share of ARMs fell just slightly to 5 percent.

HSH Associates Financial News Blog

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