Talking Points

  • The highest interest rates in well over a year are putting a dent in the mortgage business, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.23 percent last week from 4.16 percent. 
  • The share of FHA applications fell to 10.4 percent compared with 11.7 percent the previous week. FHA is mostly used by lower income or first-time borrowers, so it is not surprising that share would drop. These borrowers are hardest hit by higher interest rates, as they are generally right on the margins of home ownership.
  • Mortgage rates edged slightly lower at the beginning of this week but the average rate on the 30-year fixed is still above 4 percent. This is the first move lower since the election, but markets are volatile.