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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates increase three weeks straight

Hover around end of 2013 lows

[CORRECTION: The original headline of the story said rates "dropped" when they actually "grew," the article is now corrected.]

Although mortgage rates grew for the third consecutive week, they still remain near lows experienced in late May 2013, the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Rate Survey found.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.80% for the week ended Feb. 26, up from last week’s 3.76%. A year ago, it averaged 4.37%.

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.07%, compared to 3.05% a week ago. In 2014, it came in at 3.39%.

Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage grew from 2.97% last week to 2.99%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.05%.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.44%, down from 2.45% last week, and 2.52% a year ago.

“Mortgage rates rose for the third consecutive week in February following solid housing data. New home sales beat market expectations at an annual pace of 481,000 units, down slightly from 482,000 units in December, but up 5.3% from a year ago. Also, the S&P/Case-Shiller National House Price Index rose 4.6% over the 12-months ending in December 2014,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist with Freddie Mac.

On the other hand, Bankrate reported mortgage rates dropping after last week's increase, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate pulling back to 3.90%.

The 15-year fixed dropped to 3.15%, down from 3.21% last week, while the 5/1 ARM dipped to 3.22%, down from 3.31% last week.

“Mortgage rates moved lower this week after indications that maybe the Federal Reserve isn't going to raise interest rates as soon as markets had thought. The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's January meeting showed a hesitancy to raise interest rates on the part of Fed members. The concern was that, despite recent signs of improvement in the job market and overall economy, raising interest rates too soon could douse the recovery,” Bankrate analysts said.  

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