Mortgage rates at highest level since August 2012
Positive jobs report pushes rates higher
Mortgage rates moved higher on a weekly basis amid positive reports in the job market, Freddie Mac said in its most recent weekly mortgage report.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Markey Survey for the week ending March 14, 2012, the 30-year fixed mortgage – long-time staple of the mortgage industry – increased to an average rate not seen since August 2012.
Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose to 3.63 percent, up from 3.52 percent the previous week. The 3.63 percent mark is still lower, however, than the average of 3.92 percent seen at this time last year.
See also: Local mortgage rates
The weekly rise in rates for the 30-year fixed mortgage, Freddie Mac noted, could be related to positive signs coming from the job market.
“Fixed mortgage rates rose this week on stronger signs of jobs growth and consumer spending,” Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement. “The economy added 236,000 new workers in February which helped push down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent.”
Shorter-term 15-year fixed mortgages also saw a rise in average rates week-over-week, albeit a smaller increase. In this latest data, 15-year fixed mortgages averaged 2.79 percent, up from 2.76 percent the previous week. Despite the weekly increase, though, 15-year fixed mortgage averages are still lower than the 3.16 percent mark seen at this time one year ago.
ARM rates mixed
Rates for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) saw mixed results in this latest report.
Average rates for 5-year ARMs decreased week-over-week, from 2.63 percent to 2.61 percent, while 1-year ARMs increased slightly from 2.63 percent to 2.64 percent in the same time frame.
At this time one year ago, 5-year ARMs averages 2.83 percent and 1-year ARMs averaged 2.79 percent.