Rate Decline Could be Fueling Mortgage ETF REM

Freddie Mac, a secondary market player that helps add liquidity to the mortgage industry, said Thursday that the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dropped by three basis points to 4.55 percent a week ago–the iShares Mortgage Real Estate Capped ETF (BATS: REMhas been experiencing a recent uptick this week and could be benefitting from the rate decline.

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REM seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of U.S. REITs that hold U.S. residential and commercial mortgages–the FTSE NAREIT All Mortgage Capped Index.

Conversely, mortgage applications dropped in conjunction with the interest rate dip. According to data from CoreLogic, a real estate analytics company, existing homeowners are “more likely to take out a second loan rather than refinance to a higher rate,” which would then mean that applications for home equity lines of credit have risen over refinances.