Winter holidays have crept up with higher mortgage rates than a year before, although without large fluctuations compared to a week earlier.
This change in mortgage rates doesn't seem to have perturbed consumers, who increased mortgage applications in the US considerably last week as rates increased.
According to Freddie Mac, only adjustable-rate mortgages increased this week, while fixed-rate mortgages remained mostly unchanged.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped slightly this week to 3.96% compared to 3.97% a week earlier. This rate is higher than one year ago, when 30-year mortgage rates were at 3.83%.
This week 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged compared to last week, at 3.22%. This rate also remains above the 3.1% 15-year rate we observed one year ago.
5-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose from 3.03% one week ago to 3.06% this week. One year ago, 5-year rates were slightly below this figure, at 3.01%.
1-year adjustable-rate mortgages also increased slightly this week to 2.68%, compared to 2.67% the previous week. This is the mortgage rate that has increased most compared to a year earlier, when 1-year rates were at 2.39%.
Despite the fluctuation in mortgage rates during the past few weeks, mortgage applications have increased 7.3% as of December 18, 2015, compared to a week earlier. Data from the MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey indicates an increase of both the purchase and refinance share of mortgage activity.
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased from 60.7% of total applications two weeks ago to 62.8% last week. Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity rose from 6% to 6.1% of all applications during this same period.
Although mortgage applications increased last week, the FHA and VA share of total applications dropped considerably during this time.
The FHA share of all applications dropped to 12.9% last week compared to 14% a week earlier, and the VA share of total applications decreased from 11.2% two weeks ago to 10.5% last week. The USDA share of all mortgage applications remained at 0.6%, as it was a week earlier.