After Brief Respite, Mortgage Rates Jump

Mortgage interest rates began inching upward in late-January after their 11-week reprieve into sub-5 percent territory. They have since in the last several weeks shown an upward creeping trend before jumping in the week ending Feb. 5, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey, a weekly rate survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac (FRE). The data show that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged a 5.25 percent rate with an average 0.8 point, up from 5.10 percent recorded the previous week. Despite the hike, rates still look better overall from the same time last year: 30-year FRMs averaged 5.67 percent in the year-ago week. The average rate for a 15-year FRM — a popular refinancing product — came in at 4.92 percent with an average 0.8 point, up from the 4.8 percent reported last week. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) showed an average 5.26 percent rate with an average 0.6 point, down slightly from last week’s 5.27 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.92 percent with an average 0.5 point, a slight increase from 4.9 percent a week earlier. “Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages rose this week amid economic reports that were somewhat better than consensus forecasts had anticipated,” said Freddie vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft, who pointed out that rates, although increasing again, remain at historic lows. “Low mortgage rates and falling house prices have made housing the most affordable in 19 years.” A separate mortgage rate survey conducted by found that average fixed rates for 30-year FRMs soared 22 basis points to 5.7 percent, while rates for 15-year FRMs jumped 21 basis points to an average 5.31 percent. The average jumbo 30-year fixed rate rose slightly to 7.12 percent. One-year ARMs averaged a rate of 5.73 percent, a 14 basis-point drop, while the 5/1 ARM averaged a rate of 5.5 percent, showing a 9 basis-point increase. Visit and for further details. Raw mortgage application volume rose 8.6 percent for the week ending Jan. 30 with refinance applications accounting for 73.2 percent of all activity, according to a weekly survey released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. A separate survey conducted by Mortgage Maxx LLC found that raw data adjusted for multiple applications from a single household showed a 13.3 percent drop in household activity for the same week. The combined data suggests an application market that is drawing a larger frequency of applications from a decreased number of households. With mortgage rates back on the rise, these figures may soon change to show a continued drop in the popularity of refi options. Write to Diana Golobay at Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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