According to a recent report, 4.25 percent of borrowers received mortgage rates under 4.25 percent in the past week, up from 0.3 percent a year ago. LendingTree’s Mortgage Rate Competition Index measures the spread between the lowest and highest APRs offered by lenders. The Mortgage Rate Competition Index itself was 0.81, up from 0.78 the previous week.
For all all 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage purchase applications, 4.375 percent was the most common interest rate, offered to 16.1 percent of borrowers. LendingTree notes that 31.3 percent of 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage refinance borrowers received offers of 4.25 percent or less, a 12.1 percent increase week over week.
“The distribution of rates—and, as a result, the Mortgage Rate Competition Index—has widened as rates increased, reflecting how mortgage lenders may change the rates at which they can offer consumers loans, depending on their unique business circumstances,” said LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze.
Additionally, lenders have seen an increase in mortgage applications recently. Mortgage applications jumped 8.9 percent from one week earlier, according to recent data from the March 22 Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
"The spring buying season is off to a strong start. Thanks to an unexpectedly large drop in mortgage rates following last week's FOMC meeting, purchase applications jumped 6 percent and refinance applications surged over 12 percent," said Joel Kan, MBA's AVP of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Rates dropped across all loan types, and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now more than 70 basis points below last November's peak. The average loan size increased once again to new highs for both purchase and refinance loans, as borrowers with—or seeking—larger loans tend to be more reactive to the drop in rates."
According to the MBA, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.45 percent from 4.55 percent, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
For more on LendingTree’s data click here.