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First 2017 Increase for Fixed Mortgage Rates

Phil Hall
Jan 26, 2017
The frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications increased 1.5 percent in December as compared with November, according to the latest Loan Application Defect Index released by First Ame

It took a couple of weeks, but fixed mortgage rates finally recorded their first upswing for this year.

According to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.19 percent for the week ending January 26, up from last week when it averaged 4.09 percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.40 percent, up from last week when it averaged 3.34 percent. However, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.20 percent this week, down from last week when it averaged 3.21 percent.

“This week marks the first increase in the mortgage rate since Dec. 29,” said Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac, adding that the housing industry professionals should not get too comfortable in their optimism. “The 2.8 percent decline in existing home sales in December is a reminder of the lack of homes for sale. According to the National Association of Realtors, supply is at its lowest level since 1999, a factor that should support higher house prices regardless of the oscillations of the mortgage rate.”

Separately, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that increases in interest rates based on several indices of new mortgage contracts. The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders Index was four percent for loans closed in late December, up from 3.66 percent in November, while the average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.91 percent, a step higher from 3.64 in November.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.08 percent, compared to 3.80 in November, and the effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.99 percent in December, up from 3.77 in November. The average loan amount for all loans was $319,100 in December, while in November that average was $314,700.

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