Mortgage Rates Sit Tight as Inflation Concerns Mount
Mortgage rates held steady this past week, as applications dived and financial experts turned their focus to likely inflationary pressures, according to Freddie Mac's (FRE) weekly primary mortgage market survey. The GSE said Thursday that the average rate of on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 6.06 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending May 1, up from one week earlier, when it averaged 6.03 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.16 percent. 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.59 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week's 5.62 percent, Freddie Mac said. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.73 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, up five basis points from one week ago. ARM rates are slightly below year-ago levels, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.87 percent. "This week saw little change in mortgage rates on mixed news of higher inflation and a weaker housing market," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Additionally, in its most recent policy committee statement on April 30, the Federal Reserve indicated it expects inflation to moderate in coming quarters but uncertainty about the outlook for inflation remains high." Mortgage rates have settled down recently after some amazing swings to start the year. According to Bankrate.com, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was as low as 5.57 percent in January -- meaning that a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,144.38. In February, the average 30-year fixed rate got as high as 6.41 percent, Bankrate said -- which meant the same $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,252.32. For more information, visit http://www.freddiemac.com. Disclosure: The author owned no positions in FRE when this story was originally published. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.