US consumer confidence has jumped a lot for the month of February, compared to last year, according to the Conference Board's sentiment index just released. There has also been a large increase of new homes that have been purchased since the beginning of 2013. In January alone, there was a 15.6% increase in new home sales, which was well above the forecast. This is definitely a sign that the economic scenario in the US is improving.
On top of this bright news about our economy, this week both fixed and adjustable-rate mortgage rates have decreased compared to last week, although mortgage applications have decreased by 3.8% this week compared to a week ago. This decrease in mortgage applications might be due to the fact that the results of this survey didn't include any adjustment for the President's Day holiday, which might have caused part of this drop in applications.
According to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have decreased 0.05% from 3.56% last week to 3.51% this week. This is the rate that decreased the most this week.
15-year mortgage rates have also gone down slightly to 2.76% this week compared to 2.77% last week, although they are still at one of the highest rates we have seen this year.
5-year adjustable-rate mortgages have reached a new record low level of 2.61%, compared to 2.64%. This is a new record low that hasn't been seen in almost half a decade.
1-year adjustable-rate mortgages have decreased from 2.65% last week to 2.64 this week; although this is still the second highest rate 1-year mortgages have reached since the beginning of 2013.
This week the refinance share of mortgage activity hasn't changed from last week, which is still at 77%. This is also the lowest level of refinancing mortgage activity that has been seen since July 2012. Adjustable-rate mortgages have also remained unchanged at 4% of the total mortgage activity.