Mortgage rates stayed mostly in place this past week as the housing finance market braced for the launch of the qualified mortgage and ability-to-repay rules among other lending standards.
Jobs reports showing only mild improvement also created a type of uncertain stability.
"Private sector employment increased by 238,000 jobs from November to December," ADP claims in a new report. That is only a small jump from November's job gain of 229,000.
Data from Freddie Mac shows the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage coming in at 4.51% for the week ending Jan. 9. That figure is down slightly from 4.53% a week earlier.
A year ago the same rate hovered at 3.40%.
Meanwhile, the 15-year, FRM averaged 3.56%, which is a slight tick up from 3.55% last week, and a huge hike upward from 2.66% a year earlier.
Adjustable rates also stayed in the same range – even as reports have them becoming more popular in a rising interest-rate environment.
The 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage came in at 3.15%, up from 3.05% last week and 2.67% a year ago.
The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM, meanwhile, averaged 2.56% unchanged from a week earlier and close to the 2.60% recorded last year.
"Mortgage rates were little changed amid a week of light economic reports," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.
"Of the few releases, the private sector added an estimated 238,000 jobs in December, which exceeded the market consensus and followed an upward revision of 14,000 jobs in November, according to the ADP Research Institute," Nothaft pointed out. "Also, the Institute for Supply Management reported a greater slowing in growth in the non-manufacturing industry in December than the market consensus forecast."
While Freddie's rates changed very little, Bankrate data shows interest rates dropping in the past week, with its average 30-year, FRM edging down to 4.69%. The 15-year also fell to 3.69% from 3.73%, while the 5/1 ARM hit 3.46%, down from 3.52%.