Freddie Sees Weekly Rates Rise on Lower Unemployment

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged a 5.29% interest rate with an average 0.7 point for the week ending August 13, up from 5.22% last week but still well below 6.52% a year ago, according to the weekly survey by mortgage giant Freddie Mac (FRE). The 15-year FRM also rose this week to an average 4.68% with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.63% and far below 6.07% last year. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.75% this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.73%, and one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.72% this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.78 %. Freddie’s vice president and chief economist, FrankNothaft, attributed the gain in rates to slightly improved unemployment figures released last week. The US unemployment rate ticked down to 9.4% in July, representing the first monthly decline since April 2008, Nothaft noted. The narrowed job losses combined with higher median house prices in MSAs across the US encouraged rising rates, he said. Another interest rate survey that studies large banks and thrifts posted results much in-line with Freddie’s survey. found 30-year FRMs ticked up 2 bps, while 15-year FRMs fell 4 bps. At the same time, the average jumbo 30-year tumbled 18 bps, and ARMs dropped 1 bp for one-years and 10 bps for 5/1 ARMs. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclaimer: The author held no relevant investments when this story was published.

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