Mortgage rates continued upward after reports showed unexpected employment gains in July.
The Freddie Mac survey showed the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.59% for the week ending Thursday, up from last week’s rise to 3.55%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.32%.
It’s the second straight week the average rate on the 30-year FRM rose after falling or matching record-low levels in 13 of the previous 14 weeks.
The 15-year FRM, a popular refinancing choice, averaged 2.84%, inching up from last week‘s record low of 2.83%. A year ago, the average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.5%.
Five-year, Treasury-indexed, hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.77%, up from 2.75% last week and falling from 3.13% a year earlier.
And one-year, Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.65%, down from last week’s 2.7% and down from 2.89 % last year.
Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft attributed the increased rates to the addition of 163,000 jobs to the U.S economy in July, well above the market consensus forecast of 100,000. It’s the largest increase since February.
The number of announced corporate layoffs fell 45% in July throughout the previous 12 months. It’s the third time this year that announced layoffs were less than the same month in 2011, according to The Challenger Report.
“This suggests further net gains in employment are likely in the near future,” Nothaft said.
Home loan analytics firm Bankrate, which surveys large banks, reported the 30-year FRM rose to 3.81% from 3.77%, while the 15-year FRM ticked up to 3% from 2.99%. The 5/1 ARM increased stayed at 2.91% for the week.