Weekly Mortgage Rates Start to Go Up
Freddie Mac’s (FRE) weekly survey put the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) at 5.01% with a 0.7 origination point for the week ending February 4, up from last week’s average rate of 4.98%, the first week-over-week increase in 2010. A year ago, the 30-year FRM was 5.25%. Bankrate.com’s weekly survey of large banks and thrifts put the 30-year FRM at 5.15%, up from 5.13% last week. Freddie put the 15-year FRM at 4.4%, up from last week’s average rate of 4.39%, but still down from last year’s rate of 4.92%. Bankrate.com put the 15-year FRM at 4.55%, up from 4.54% last week. Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft said despite the increase, rates remain relatively stable amid other positive developments, including recent increases in pending home sales and mortgage applications. “Even more encouraging news came from the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey, which reported that banks have generally stopped tightening standards on most types of loans in the fourth quarter of 2009, with commercial real estate as the exception,” Nothaft said. “However, banks have yet to unwind the tightening that occurred over the last two years. Moreover, substantially fewer banks expected credit quality to deteriorate over the coming year,” he added. Freddie said the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.27%, up from last week’s rate of 4.25%. Last year, the five-year ARM averaged 5.26%. Bankrate.com’s average rate for five-year ARMs was 4.56%, up from 4.54% last week. Freddie’s survey of the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM put the average rate of 4.22%, down from last week’s rate of 4.29% and last year’s 4.92%. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.