Mortgage rates rise for 2nd straight week

by Francis Monfort23 Jan 2018
Average mortgage rates increased for the second consecutive week during the week ending Jan. 18, with the average rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rising to its highest level since May, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac.

Rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.04%, with an average 0.6 point. The average is an increase from the 3.99% average in the prior period but is down from the 4.09% average in the same week in 2017.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage recorded an average rate of 3.49%, with an average 0.5 point, rising from the 3.44% average in the previous period. The average is also higher compared to the year-ago period, which recorded a 3.34% average rate.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.46% with an average 0.3 point, remaining steady from the prior survey. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.21%.

"The US weekly average for the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose above 4% for the first time since last summer to 4.04% in this week's survey,” Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said. “This is the highest weekly average for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage since May of 2017.

"Some may be wondering if this is the last time we'll see a three handle on the 30-year mortgage rate,” he said. “Never say never, but inflation is firming, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book indicates broad-based economic growth, and labor markets are tightening. This means upward pressure on long-term rates, like the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, is building."

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