US mortgage rate climbs to 6.79%, new high since November

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the US climbed to a new highest level since November, but mortgage applications saw a weekly gain, according to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose 7.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending March 3, compared to the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 9% from the previous week.

The 30-year fixed rate increased to 6.79% last week, said the report released on Wednesday. This level is a fresh new high since November, after it stood at 6.62% for the week ending Feb. 17 and at 6.71% for the week ending Feb. 24.

"Even with higher rates, there was an uptick in applications last week, but this was in comparison to two weeks of declines to very low levels, including a holiday week," said MBA Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan.

"Comparing the application indices from a year ago, purchase applications were still down 42 percent, and refinance activity was down 76 percent. Many borrowers are waiting on the sidelines for rates to come back down," he added.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.25%, from 6.13%, for the week.

The MBA survey covers more than 75% of all US retail residential mortgage applications.

Source: Anadolu Agency