Mortgage Rates Thursday, Feb. 2: Lower Today; FHA Applications Plummet

Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 5/1 ARM rates were all lower today, according to a NerdWallet survey of current mortgage rates published by national lenders Thursday morning.

As was widely anticipated, the Federal Reserve left short-term interest rates unchanged yesterday. With a couple of positive reports on the economy lately, pressure is building for mortgage rates to move higher. Generally, good news for the economy is bad news for mortgage rates.

After moving higher two weeks ago, rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans have been bouncing within a narrow range. A strong jobs report from the Department of Labor tomorrow could break the recent meandering rate trend.

Mortgage Rates Today,
Thursday, Feb. 2

(Change from 2/1)
30-year fixed: 4.43% APR (-0.02)
15-year fixed: 3.78% APR (-0.05)
5/1 ARM: 3.81% APR (-0.01)

FHA loan applications plunge after fee discount reversal

Home loan applications sank 3.2% for the week ending Jan. 27, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey. Driving a large part of the week’s fallback was a significant decline in FHA loan applications.

>> MORE: Best lenders for FHA loans

“Following the decision to suspend a proposed decrease in the FHA mortgage insurance premium, FHA refinance applications dropped more than 25%, while FHA purchase applications fell almost 6%,” Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, told CNBC.

Overall, considering conventional as well as government-backed loans, purchase applications fell 6% and refinance volume fell 1% from the week prior.

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published annual percentage rate with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. APR quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

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Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: hal@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @halmbundrick.

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