Industry News

Employment surge hikes mortgage rates

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Mortgage rates soared to levels not seen since last summer, as strong job growth in April suggested the Federal Reserve will raise its key funds rate sooner than expected, according to surveys conducted by mortgage buyer Freddie Mac and Bankrate. In Freddie Mac's weekly survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.34 percent for the week ended today, up from last week when it averaged 6.12 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.72 percent, up from last week when it averaged 5.47 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.7. One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.9 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.76 percent. "Last month's huge surge in employment figures reaffirmed market expectations that the Fed will move sooner now rather than later," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "This put pressure on the bond market, and as yields...