Mortgage Rates Begin Upward Climb to 3.98 Percent
Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing average mortgage rates climbing as the housing market ended 2011 on a high note. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.98 percent, with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Jan. 26, 2012. This sudden rise in rates is a reversal of the previous three-week trend of setting all-time record lows. However, at 3.98 percent, the eight-week streak continues of rates coming in below the four percent mark. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.80 percent. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.24 percent with an average 0.8 point this week, up from last week when it averaged 3.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.09 percent. "Fixed mortgage rates ticked up this week as the housing market ended 2011 on a high note," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "New construction of one-family homes rose 4.4 percent in December to an annualized rate of 470,000, the most since April 2010." The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.85 percent for the week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.82 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 3.70 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.74 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, matching last week when it averaged 2.74 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.26 percent. "Existing home sales increased five percent at the end of the year to 4.61 million houses, the largest amount since May 2010," said Nothaft. "Furthermore, pending home sales in November and December averaged the highest reading since the March and April 2010 period."