Mortgage Rates Increase Again This Week
Mortgage rates remain low, but increased again this week in two weekly surveys. Freddie Mac’s (FRE) survey said the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 4.94% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 17, up from 4.81% last week. A year ago, the 30-year FRM was 5.19%. Freddie Mac’s survey has put the rate for 30-year FRMs below 5% for the past seven weeks, creating a boost in refinance activity. Bankrate.com put the 30-year FRM at 5.13% with an average 0.42 point for the same period, up from 5.04% in the previous week. “Mortgage rates followed bond yields higher once again this week amid signs of an improving economy,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “On the consumer side, retail sales jumped 1.3% in November and consumer sentiment, as measured by the University of Michigan, rose above the market consensus forecast to the highest reading since September. Industrial production also showed large gains in November. Freddie said the 15-year FRM averaged 4.38% with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it was 4.32%. A year ago, it was 4.92%. Bankrate.com put the 15-year FRM rate at 4.53%. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.37% with an average 0.6 point this week, up from last week when it averaged 4.26%, Freddie said. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.34% this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.24%. Bankrate.com put the five-year ARM at 4.6%, up from 4.55% last week. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.