Mortgage rates inched up last week, the third consecutive week of increases, according to two rate surveys. Freddie Mac’s (FRE) weekly survey put the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) interest rate at 5.03% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Oct. 29, up from 5% in the previous week. A year ago, the rate was 6.46%. A separate survey of large US banks and thrifts conducted by Bankrate.com put the 30-year FRM at 5.35% with an average 0.37 point. That’s an increase of 1bp from the previous week. One year ago, the rate was 6.77%. Freddie Mac said the 15-year FRM rate was 4.46% with an average 0.6 point, up from 4.43% last week. Last year, the 15-year FRM was 6.19%. Bankrate.com said the 15-year FRM was 4.74%, up 2bps from last week. Freddie said the five-year Treasury-index hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 4.42% with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it was 4.4%. A year ago it was 6.36%. Bankrate.com put the benchmark 5/1 ARM down 5bps to 4.64%. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.57% with an average 0.6 point this week, up from 4.54% last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.38%. Sales have increased, prices are down and supply is starting to decline, Bankrate.com said. Susan Wachter, a real estate professor at the University of Pennsylvania‘s Wharton School of Business, said in the Bankrate.com survey the housing market is not at a false bottom. “These are strong numbers, but not surprisingly strong numbers,” Wachter said. “The fundamentals are in place for a recovery — however, a slow recovery.” Write to Austin Kilgore.
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