After two straight weeks of declines, fixed mortgage rates headed modestly upward this past week as equity markets rallied; that picture could change, however, depending on a key economic report set to be released tomorrow. The average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate reached 6.12 percent as of April 2, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders. Freddie Mac's survey, also watched by industry participants, found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average rose comparatively less to 5.88 percent, with an average 0.5 point.
Mortgage rates
week of April 2, 2008
30-year fixed5-year ARM
current rate:6.12%6.04%
change:+17 bps-12 bps
source: Bankrate.com
"While prime, conforming rates still remain at historically low levels, long-term mortgage rates did drift slightly upwards this week on signs that the economy may have a little more strength than what financial markets forecasted," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. Bankrate reported that the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate now stands 7.52 percent -- worth noting, because that would put the jumbo spread at an eye-popping 140 basis points using common data. An earlier story here on HW looked at current jumbo rate spreads and what will need to take place for things to settle down over the next few months. HSH Associates reports rate data on Friday, so I'll be interested to see where that places spreads for secondary market participants. Adjustable mortgage rates were mixed, Bankrate.com said, with the average 1-year ARM rising further to 6.37 percent while the average 5/1 ARM retreated to 6.04 percent. Rates may be set to come down in the back half of this week, however, some sources said. Stock futures extended their losses on Thursday after a Labor Department report showing jobless claims at two-year high. A highly-anticipated employment report is due Friday.