Industry News

Job gains hike mortgage rates

Freddie Mac predicts only a slight increase in rates by year-end

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Mortgage rates crept higher this week on news of good job growth in August, according to a survey conducted by mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. In Freddie Mac's weekly survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.83 percent for the week ended today, up from last week when it averaged 5.77 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.22 percent, also up from last week when it averaged 5.15 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.8. One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. "August's 144,000-job gain, combined with a 41,000 upward revision for July, signaled a strengthening economy and helped push mortgage rates up slightly this week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "However, Fed Chairman Greenspan's testimony to Congress yesterday outlined a less robust economy than he previously had portrayed...