Expected Fed rate hike pushes mortgage rates upward

by Francis Monfort05 Feb 2018
Mortgage rates increased again for the week ending Feb. 1, continuing their upward trend, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.22%, with an average 0.5 point, up from the previous 4.15% average. The average rate also increased on a year-over-year basis from the 4.19% average in the same week in 2017.

The average rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.68%, with an average 0.5 point. The average increased from the 3.62% average in the previous week as well as the 3.41% average in the same period last year.

Rates for the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.53%, with an average 0.4 point. In the prior period, it averaged 3.52%. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.23%.

"The Federal Reserve did not hike rates this week, but the market views future hikes as a near certainty,” Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said. “The expectation of future Fed rate hikes and increased borrowing by the US Treasury is putting upward pressure on interest rates. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is up over a quarter of a percentage point (27 basis points) from the first week of the year. 30-year fixed mortgage rates have increased for four consecutive weeks and are now slightly above where they were last year at this time."

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