Mortgage rates increased for the week ended Feb. 12, driven by strong employment numbers. However, rates still remain near their May 23, 2013 lows, the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey found.
According to the most recent jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Feb. 6, total nonfarm payroll employment beat all expectations on the Street, rising by an unbelievable 257,000 in January, and the unemployment rate -- which remains controversial in how it is calculated -- was little changed at 5.7%.
The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.69%, up from 3.59% last week, but down from 4.28% a year ago.
The 15-year, FRM came in at 2.99%, up from 2.92% a week ago. In 2014, it came in at 3.33%.
In addition, the 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage increased 2.97%, compared to 2.82% last week. It averaged 3.05% a year ago.
The 1-year, Treasury-indexed ARM grew from 2.39% a week prior to 2.42% this week. This time last year, it averaged 2.55%.
“Mortgage rates rose this week following strong economic data. The economy added 257,000 new jobs in January after robust increases of 329,000 in December and 423,000 in November. The unemployment rate edged up to 5.7% last month from 5.6% in December. Average hourly earnings rose 0.5%, following a 0.2% decline in December,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist with Freddie Mac.
Bankrate reported the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increasing to 3.90%, compared to 3.80% last week.
The 15-year, fixed hit 3.17%, up from 3.12% last week, while the 5/1 ARM came in at 3.32%, up from 3.20% last week.
“Mortgage rates broke out this week after an extended period of calm, boosted by positive economic data and a surprisingly strong monthly employment report. Job growth, in particular, has surged significantly in recent months, enough to bring forward expectations of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike to as early as the June 2015 meeting,” analysts with Bankrate said about the earnings.