Freddie Mac reported 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.99% with an average 0.7 point in the week ending March 29 compared to 4.08% with an average 0.8 point last week.Despite the improvement, refinancing activity outside of Home Affordable Refinance Program-related is not likely to be too motivated as the no point rate at 4.18% is still outside the incentive window for many of the borrowers underlying 3.5% and 4.0% coupons.

Yesterday, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported its Refinance Index declined 4.6% to ~3438, its lowest level since early December. Refinancing activity has dropped for six straight weeks since reaching a year to date high of 4538 in mid-February when mortgage rates declined to a record low.

For the month of March, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.97% compared to 3.89% in February.

Meanwhile, over the first three weeks of March, refinancing activity has dropped over 15%. This along with a lower number of collection days (20 versus 22 in March) will contribute to an expected slowing of around 5% in April prepayment speeds (released in early May) following a projected increase of 10-15% on average in March.

In other lending programs reported by Freddie Mac, 15-year fixed mortgage rates declined seven basis points to 3.23%, and 5/1 hybrid and one-year ARM rates were down six basis points to 2.90% and 2.78%, respectively.

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