Mortgage rates increase following employment improvement

Mortgage rates kicked off the new year with high readings, following December’s employment report.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hovered at 3.40% — it’s highest reading in the last two months — for the week ending in Jan. 10, up from 3.35% a week earlier, but down from 3.89% last year, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

“Fixed mortgage rates increased slightly following a positive employment report for December. The economy added 155,000 jobs, above the consensus market forecast, and November’s job growth was revised upward by another 24,000 workers,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac.

He added, “This helped keep the unemployment rate steady at 7.8 percent, the lowest since December 2008. For all of 2012, 1.86 million jobs were created and represented the largest annual gain since 2006.”

Click on the graph to view this week’s primary mortgage market survey results.


The all-time record low for the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.31% set Nov. 21.

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage was up from last week, averaging 2.66%, compared to 2.64% and is down from 3.16% a year ago.

In addition, the 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid, adjustable-rate mortgage came in at 2.67%, down from 2.71% a week earlier and lower than the 2.82% rate recorded the same time last year.

The 1-year, Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.60%, up from 2.57% last week and down from 2.76% a year ago.

Bankrate data also shows mortgage rates reaching “high levels” for the beginning of the year. The Bankrate 30-year, FRM came in at 3.67%, up from 3.59% a week earlier. The 15-year, FRM also climbed to 2.92% from 2.87%, and the 5/1 ARM rose to 2.77%, up from 2.76% a week earlier.

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