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Freddie Mac: Residential financing rates continue to decline

Posted on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 8:22:51 AM

As the weeks go by, it feels like it is only a matter of time before residential financing rates start to climb. Even so, that hasn't been the case yet.

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined once more on a weekly basis, now at 3.63 percent compared to 3.66 percent. A similar drop was seen with the 15-year FRM, down from 2.98 percent to 2.93 percent. So far, these are the new low points for 2015.

In addition, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications were also moving in a positive direction, increasing by 14.2 percent for the week ending Jan. 16. Refinanced mortgages comprised 74 percent of total activity, while adjustable-rate mortgages were only sought out 6.4 percent of the time.

"Mortgage application volume increased last week to its highest level since June 2013, led by a 22 percent increase in refinance application volume," explained Mike Fratatoni, chief economist for the MBA. "This increase was largely due to mortgage rates dropping to their lowest level since May 2013.  However, the recent reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums also played a role: FHA refinance applications increased 57 percent last week."