Mortgage interest rates up slightly
The nation's average mortgage interest rates changed little from last week, hovering near 4% the past three weeks amid positive economic and consumer confidence data. The Freddie Mac primary mortgage market survey showed the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4% for the week ending Thursday, up a tick from the prior week's average of 3.99%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.39%. This week's 15-year FRM, a popular refinancing choice, averaged 3.31%, up from last week when it averaged 3.3%. A year ago, the average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.76%. Five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.97% this week, down slightly from 2.98% the prior week and lower than the 3.4% of a year earlier. And one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.98%, rising from last week when it averaged 2.95% but down from 3.26% last year. "Retail sales rose for the fifth straight month in October and beat the market consensus forecast," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie vice president and chief economist. "Meanwhile, consumer confidence rose for the third consecutive month in early November to the highest reading since June, according to the University of Michigan’s sentiment index." Homebuilder confidence rose in November to the strongest level since May 2010, based on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo (WFC) housing market index. Write to Justin T. Hilley. Follow him on Twitter @JustinHilley.