Fixed mortgage rates continued to climb this week. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 6.31 percent. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, 30-year fixed rate mortgages had an average of 0.27 discount and origination points. Average 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates increased to 6.04 percent, while on larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate moved only slightly to 6.58 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages stepped up, with the average 5/1 ARM going to 6.17 percent and the average one-year ARM inching up to 6.00 percent. This week, the March employment report caused rates to rise, with the Labor Department announcing Friday that non-farm payrolls grew by 180,000 in March -- quite a bit better than the 135,000 that had been expected.
The unemployment rate fell, too, to 4.4 percent. Better-than-expected employment news translated into an immediate bump in Treasury yields and long-term interest rates as investors pulled money out of bonds and put them into stocks. To lure buyers, bond prices fell and yields rose -- and those higher yields filtered into the mortgage market, resulting in higher rates for home loans. Fixed mortgage rates are still notably lower than last summer when the Fed last raised interest rates. At the time, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate peaked at 6.93 percent, and a $165,000 loan carried a monthly payment of $1,090.00. With the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.31 percent, the same loan originated today would carry a monthly payment of $1,022.38.
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