Mortgage rates reversed a three-week uptrend after lower-than-expected job growth in May eased market fears of excess inflation, according to the latest surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.
In Freddie Mac’s survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to an average 6.62 percent for the week ended today, down from last week’s average of 6.67 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage sank to 6.23 percent from last week’s average of 6.26 percent.
Points, which are fees charged by lenders for loan processing, averaged 0.5 on both the 30- and 15-year loans.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 6.2 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 6.26 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 5.63 percent, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.68 percent.
“Mortgage rates are down a little this week on news of disappointing job growth in May coupled with downward revisions for the previous two months,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “The slight drop in long-term rates reflects a cautiously optimistic outlook in the market that core inflation remains contained. The soon-to-be released Producer Price Index (PPI), followed by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will give a better indication which way inflation is headed.
“Currently, the Fed is monitoring each of these economic reports and will take their impacts into consideration at its next meeting towards the end of June, leaving open the question of what action, if any, the Fed will take.”
In Bankrate.com’s survey, fixed mortgage rates dipped, with the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falling from 6.72 percent to 6.69 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in this week’s survey had an average of 0.35 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage popular for refinancing inched lower to 6.31 percent, according to Bankrate.com. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate slid from 6.91 percent to 6.86 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages bucked the trend. The average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 6.32 percent, and the average one-year ARM edged higher to 5.9 percent.
Slower economic growth and concerns about inflation have kept mortgage rates bobbing up and down over the past month, Bankrate.com reported. Just in the past week, tepid job growth underscored the notion that the Federal Open Market Committee might refrain from raising interest rates at their June 28-29 meeting. But on Monday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke roiled financial markets with his inflation-focused comments, with the odds of a June rate hike instantly rebounding. Despite all the uncertainty and the resulting volatility in short-term interest rates, yields on 10-year Treasury notes remain lower than one week ago. As a result, fixed mortgage rates are also lower. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
The following is a sampling of Bankrate.com’s average 30-year-mortgage interest rates this week in some U.S. metropolitan areas:
New York – 6.67 percent with 0.26 point
Los Angeles – 6.72 percent with 0.54 point
Chicago – 6.82 percent with 0.06 point
San Francisco – 6.75 percent with 0.31 point
Philadelphia – 6.59 percent with 0.36 point
Detroit – 6.69 percent with 0.03 point
Boston – 6.7 percent with 0.14 point
Houston – 6.68 percent with 0.6 point
Dallas – 6.69 percent with 0.52 point
Washington, D.C. – 6.55 percent with 0.71 point
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