As the unemployment rate has declined and the housing market has shown solid growth, long-term mortgage interest rates have made a steady climb, reaching an almost 9-month high in the latest week, according to data from mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac.
In its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac found that the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) jumped to 4.08 percent, excluding fees, during the week ended July2, 2015, up from 4.02 percent week before. That is the highest level since the week of October 9, 2014 when the rate was 4.12 percent. Last year at this time, the average was also 4.12 percent.
“Overseas events are generating significant day-to-day volatility in interest rates. Nonetheless, the week-to-week impact on most rates was modest — the 30-year mortgage rate increased just 6 bps, to 4.08 percent,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti. “The MBA composite index of mortgage applications fell 4.7 percent in response to what is now three consecutive weeks of mortgage rates over 4 percent. Other measures, however, confirmed continued strength in housing — pending home sales rose 0.9 percent, exceeding expectations, and the Case-Shiller house price index recorded another solid increase.”
The Case-Shiller report showed that home prices continue to grow, with Denver and San Francisco leading the nation with double-digit gains. The increases in most parts of the country seems to be at a more sustainable and affordable trajectory than they have been recently, a fact that could help more potential homeowners buy into the market.
Other rates also jumped in the past week. The 15-year FRM carried an average rate of 3.24 percent, up from 3.21 percent the week before. One year ago, the average was 3.22 percent.
The one-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate rose to 2.52 percent, up from 2.50 percent the previous week. A year earlier, the average was just 2.38 percent.