Mortgage Rates Wednesday, Feb. 22: Down; Mortgage Applications Fall

Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Mortgage rates today fell across the board, with 30-year fixed rates down by eight basis points, and 15-year fixed loans and 5/1 ARMs down by three and two basis points, respectively, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders Wednesday morning.

The 30-year fixed rates have seen some volatility in recent weeks, and will continue to fluctuate as investors grapple with uncertainty and faltering confidence in the pace of U.S. economic growth.


MORTGAGE RATES TODAY, Wednesday, FEB. 22:

(Change from 2/21)
30-year fixed: 4.32% APR (0.08)
15-year fixed: 3.69% APR (-0.03)
5/1 ARM: 3.80% APR (-0.02)

Mortgage applications drop 2% week-over-week

Mortgage applications dipped for the week ending Feb. 17, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

The index, which is based on a survey covering 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, fell 2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week, according to an MBA news release. Purchase applications decreased a seasonally adjusted 3% compared with the previous week, though they were an unadjusted 10% higher than the same week in 2016.

Refinance activity is continuing to drop as mortgage rate volatility gives borrowers pause if they haven’t yet refinanced their homes. Refinance applications fell 1% from the previous week to the lowest level in a month, the MBA reported. Also, the refinance share of activity fell to 46.2% of overall mortgage applications — the lowest level since November 2008 — from 46.9% the previous week.

“Rates were up last week as markets assessed that the Fed might increase rates sooner than expected on the strength of a recent pick-up in inflation readings,” Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of industry surveys and forecasting, said in the release. “Refinances were not overly sensitive to the four-basis-point increase in mortgage rates, falling just 1% from the previous week. Purchase applications, on the other hand, are not increasing as fast as is typically expected at this time of the year, leading to a decline there as well, after seasonal adjustment.”

» MORE: Calculate your monthly mortgage payment

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.

Deborah Kearns is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: dkearns@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @debbie_kearns.

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