Posts Tagged ‘ fixed mortgage rates ’

Yellen’s Likely Confirmation Puts the Brakes on Rising Interest Rates

Yellen’s Likely Confirmation Puts the Brakes on Rising Interest Rates

BY: TORY BARRINGER

Mortgage rates shifted down this week, according to reports from Freddie Mac and finance website Bankrate.com.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.22 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending November 21, a decrease from 4.35 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.31 percent.

The 15-year FRM averaged 3.27 percent (0.7 point) this week, down from 3.35 percent. The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) average also retreated, averaging 2.95 percent (0.5 point), while the 1-year ARM was unchanged at 2.61 percent (0.4 point).

The declines accompanied a week of lukewarm economic data.

“Fixed mortgage rates fell this week on reports of weaker manufacturing growth and declines in overall inflation rates,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

Manufacturing numbers show industrial production falling 0.1 percent in October, while the consumer price index dropped the same amount. Annually, consumer prices are up 1 percent, “the smallest increase since October 2009,” Nothaft said.

Meanwhile, Bankrate’s weekly national survey has the 30-year fixed average dropping to 4.39 percent, with the 15-year fixed falling to 3.42 percent. The 5/1 ARM was also down, falling a few points to 3.28 percent.

While Freddie Mac attributed this week’s movements to economic stats, Bankrate pointed to another cause.

“After two consecutive weeks moving to the upside, mortgage rates reversed course following Federal Reserve Chair nominee Janet Yellen’s comment that ‘there is more the Fed can do,’” Bankrate said in a release.

“Investors took this to mean that the Fed will not be in a hurry to rein in stimulus or boost interest rates,” Bankrate explained, “and that helped bring both bond yields and mortgage rates back down.”

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Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Amid Stalemate on Capitol Hill

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Amid Stalemate on Capitol Hill

10/11/2013 BY: TORY BARRINGER

Fixed mortgage rates held more or less steady this week as Capitol Hill remained locked in debate over budgetary concerns.

According to data in Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.23 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending October 10, just up from 4.22 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.39 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.31 percent (0.7 point), up from 3.29 percent previously.

News was similar for adjustable rates. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.05 percent (0.4 point), rising from 3.03 percent. The 1-year ARM averaged 2.64 percent (0.4 point), increasing a single basis point.

In addition to putting markets into a “wait and see” position, the federal debt impasse made for a “light week of economic data releases”-giving investors little to react to, explained Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

Meanwhile, Bankrate.com recorded a fifth consecutive week of declines for fixed rates in its weekly national survey. According to the site, the 30-year fixed averaged 4.39 percent this week-down from 4.41 percent-while the 15-year fixed was flat at 3.47 percent.
The 5/1 ARM experienced the greatest movement, falling 6 basis points to 3.34 percent.

“The ongoing government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling deadline have made investors cautious. The prospect for slower economic growth has investors moving into longer-term government and mortgage-backed bonds, bringing yields lower,” Bankrate said in a release. “This has been good for mortgage rates, which are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.”

Fixed Mortgage Rise as Market Reacts to Fed Taper Talk

Fixed Mortgage Rise as Market Reacts to Fed Taper Talk

BY: TORY BARRINGER

Fixed mortgage rates jumped this week as markets awaited the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) July meeting, which contained hints of when the Federal Reserve might start reducing its bond purchases.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.58 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending August 22, up from last week’s 4.40 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.

The 15-year FRM averaged 3.60 percent (0.7 point), up from 3.44 percent previously.

Adjustable rate movements trended downward. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.21 percent (0.5 point), down from 3.23

percent in the last survey. The 1-year ARM averaged 2.67 percent (0.5 point), flat week-over-week.

Recounting the minutes of the FOMC’s meeting, Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft noted “the committee members were broadly comfortable with a plan to start reducing its bond purchases later this year, although a few emphasized the importance of being patient.”

“Meeting participants acknowledged mortgage rate increases might restrain housing market activity, but several members expressed confidence the housing recovery would be resilient in the face of higher rates,” Nothaft said. “In fact, existing home sales increased in July to the strongest pace since November 2009 and homebuilder confidence in August rose to its highest reading since November 2005. Both increases occurred after mortgage rates had risen from their spring-time lows.”

Meanwhile, Bankrate.com reported a two-year high for the 30-year fixed average in its own weekly survey. The 30-year fixed reached 4.74 percent, Bankrate observed, while the 15-year fixed jumped to 3.75 percent.

On the adjustable rates side, the 5/1 ARM climbed to 3.69 percent.

“While nothing is official yet, and likely won’t be at least until we get to the other side of the jobs report in early September, the markets have clearly priced in the expectation of Fed tapering at that point,” Bankrate said in a release.

Fixed Rates Up for Fifth Straight Week

Fixed Rates Up for Fifth Straight Week

06/06/2013 BY: TORY BARRINGER

 

Fixed mortgage rates climbed for the fifth straight week to start June, according to reports from Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending June 6, up 10 basis points over last week. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.67 percent.

The 15-year FRM averaged 3.03 percent (0.7 point), rising from 2.98 percent previously and climbing above the 3.00 percent mark for the first time since the week of May 24, 2012.

Adjustable rates also rose. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.74 percent (0.5 point), up from 2.66 percent. The 1-yearARM averaged 2.58 percent (0.4 point), up from 2.54 percent previously.

“Continuing market concerns that the Federal Reserve may slow its bond purchases amid a strengthening economy added upward pressure on mortgage rates this week,” explained Frank Nothaft, chief economist and VP for Freddie Mac.

Meanwhile, Bankrate’s weekly national survey had the 30-year fixed rising to 4.1 percent, its highest level since April 2012. The 15-year fixed increased to 3.28 percent, while the 5/1 ARM rose 12 basis points to 2.93 percent.

“Mortgage rates have increased sharply and suddenly on concerns that the Federal Reserve will begin withdrawing the $85 billion of monthly bond-buying stimulus,” Bankrate said. “But we’re still in a slow growth economy, with high unemployment, and an active Fed, and any disappointing economic news will almost certainly bring mortgage rates lower.”

Fixed Rates Barely Budge After Spiking

Fixed Rates Barely Budge After Spiking

02/07/2013 BY: TORY BARRINGER

After spiking last week, fixed mortgage rates held their ground this week as the economy showed signs of stability, at least for the near future.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.53 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending February 7, unchanged from last week. This time last year, the average FRM was 3.87 percent.

The 15-year fixed average dipped, meanwhile, dropping to 2.77 percent (0.7 point) from 2.81 percent.

Adjustable rates saw more movement, with the average 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) dropping 7 basis points to 2.63 percent (0.6 point) and the average 1-year ARM falling 6 basis points to 2.53 percent (0.4 point).

“Mortgage rates were either unchanged or lower this week following a mostly positive employment data report for January,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac, adding that “[t]he only downside to the report was that the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.8 to 7.9 percent in January, which is still historically high.”

Bankrate reported similar findings. According to the site’s weekly survey, the 30-year fixed average was 3.76 percent this week, down a single basis point from last week. The 15-year fixed average settled down to 3.00 percent from 3.03 percent previously.

At the same time, the 5/1 ARM slipped from 2.78 percent to 2.76 percent.

“Mortgage rates ticked lower after the Federal Reserve indicated plans to maintain the pace of bond-buying efforts and another report of steady job growth. With the fiscal cliff averted, the debt ceiling debate delayed, and even overtures of postponing the significant federal spending cuts known as the sequester, any immediate risk of the wheels coming off the economy seems remote,” Bankrate said. “As a result, bond yields and mortgage rates are more or less holding steady, awaiting a catalyst for the next big move.”

Fixed Rates Rise as News on Housing Improves

Fixed Rates Rise as News on Housing Improves

01/24/2013 BY: TORY BARRINGER

Positive economic and housing news lifted fixed mortgage rates to their highest level in months this week.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 3.42 (0.7 point) for the week ending January 24, up from 3.38 percent last week. The last time the average 30-year reading was this high was September 29 of last year, Freddie Mac said.

The 15-year fixed average also rose, climbing to 2.67 percent (0.7 point) from 2.66 percent previously.

Interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were stationary in the last week: The 5-year ARM averaged 2.67 percent (0.5 point), and the 1-year ARM came in at 2.57 percent (0.5 point).

Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, said the rise in fixed rates is unlikely to deter the housing recovery.

“Fixed mortgage rates were up slightly over the holiday week but remain highly affordable and should continue to aid in the ongoing housing recovery,” Nothaft said. “For instance, existing home sales totaled 4.65 million in 2012, showing a 9.2 percent increase over 2011 and the strongest pace in five years. In addition, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s purchase-only house price index rose 5.7 percent over the 12 months ending in November 2012, marking the largest annual increase since June 2006.”

Bankrate also reported increases in fixed rates. The 30-year fixed average was 3.66 percent for the week, up six basis points from the previous survey. The 15-year fixed average measured 2.94 percent, up five basis points week-over-week.

Meanwhile, the 5/1 ARM declined, averaging 2.71 percent—a drop of three basis points.

“The past week saw positive reports on housing starts and a drop in weekly unemployment claims, which coupled with good news on the corporate earnings front, powered mortgage rates higher,” Bankrate said. “With the debt ceiling debate delayed, the most dire economic scenarios are all alleviated for now, which should keep a floor under bond yields and mortgage rates at least until talk of government spending cuts heats up.”

Fixed Rates Move Little, Stay Near Record Lows

Fixed Rates Move Little, Stay Near Record Lows

12/06/2012 BY: TORY BARRINGER

Fixed mortgage rates stayed relatively calm this week as economic indicators showed improved strength, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed averaged 3.34 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending December 6, up from the previous week’s average of 3.32 percent. This week’s average is only three basis points up from the survey’s record low (achieved the week ending November 21).

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) also inched up, averaging 2.67 percent (0.6 point) from 2.64 percent the previous week.

Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) posted decreases. The 5-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.69 percent (0.6 point), down from 2.72 percent in the last survey. The 1-year ARM averaged 2.55 percent (0.4 point), dropping from 2.56 percent before.

“Mortgage rates were little changed and near record lows this week amid indicators of stronger economic growth and signs of tame inflation,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac, pointing to news of upward revisions in real GDP growth and stability in core price growth on consumer expenditures.

“The housing market is aiding in this recovery,” he added. “For instance, fixed residential investment added positive growth over the past six consecutive quarters in the third quarter alone contributed 0.4 percentage points to realGDP growth. In addition, residential construction spending was up 3 percent between September and October. And, pending home sales saw a 5.2 percent increase in Octoberto its highest reading since March 2007.”

While Freddie Mac’s survey showed increases in fixed rates, Bankrate’s weekly survey saw them slipping to new lows. According to Bankrate’s index, the 30-year fixed averaged 3.50 percent this week, falling to a new record from 3.52 percent previously. The 15-year fixed also fell, dropping from 2.86 percent last week to 2.85 percent this week.

Adjustable rates were flat at 2.74 percent.

Opinions on where rates will go next were split, with 50 percent of analysts surveyed by Bankrate saying they expect no change and 42 percent expecting continued drops. Most experts in the “Down” category cited the markets concerns about the fiscal cliff and what they expect to be a disappointing jobs report on Friday.

 

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