Mortgage interest rates drop on shaky employment numbers
Mortgage interest rates fell for the fourth consecutive week as a sudden spike in unemployment for the week ending April 30 riled the certainty of consumers, according to reports compiled by Freddie Mac and Bankrate. Since a nearly 10% jump in jobless claims, the situation improved last week, with initial jobless claims falling 9.2% for the week ending May 7. But the knock on impact of the earlier jump is being felt in rates this week. Freddie Mac said Thursday the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.63% for the week ending May 12, down from 4.71% last week and 4.93% a year earlier. Meanwhile, the 15-year FRM hit 3.82%, down from 3.89% last week and 4.30% last year. In addition, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.41%, down from 3.47% a week earlier and from 3.95% last year. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.11%, down from last week when it averaged 3.14% and 4.02% in 2010. Bankrate.com also released its weekly national survey of mortgage rates, which shows the 30-year FRM falling to 4.82% after a spike in "weekly filings for unemployment and a perceived loss of economic momentum have helped in bringing Treasury yields and mortgage rates to the lowest point since last December," Bankrate said. Bankrate said both fixed and adjustable mortgage rates remain at some of the lowest levels ever recorded, adding that mortgage rates have not been above 6% since November of 2008. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.