Mortgage rates increased again this week, as the bond market remained rattled from the latest inflation report indicating stronger-than-expected growth, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.
In Freddie Mac’s survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to an average 6.62 percent for the week ended today, up from last week’s average of 6.6 percent. The 30-year fixed has not been higher since the week ending June 20, 2002, when it averaged 6.63 percent.
The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 6.23 percent, up from last week’s average of 6.2 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year fixed averaged 0.4.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 6.21 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 6.23 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 5.61 percent, with an average 0.7 point, down slightly from last week when it averaged 5.62 percent.
“Currently, mortgage rates are roughly a half a percentage point higher than they were at the start of the year, which has led to some moderation in the housing market,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Indeed, in the first quarter of 2006, the housing industry directly accounted for only 7 percent of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to 19 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005.
“Total housing starts for April were the weakest since November 2004, and although new-home sales in April were the strongest this year, the number of homes for sale hit a record high. Meanwhile, existing-home sales declined an expected 2 percent, further evidence of an easing in housing.”
In Bankrate.com’s survey, fixed mortgage rates showed a slight increase in the past week, with the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage moving to 6.69 percent, the highest level since the week of June 12, 2002. The 30-year fixed rate mortgages in this week’s survey had an average of 0.36 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing inched higher to 6.31 percent, Bankrate.com reported. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate increased to 6.87 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages dipped this week, with the average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage slipping to 6.27 percent, and the average one-year ARM falling to 5.9 percent.
Bankrate conducts its rate survey on Wednesdays, and last week, that fell on the same day that the Consumer Price Index for April was released. It showed that inflation was running higher than most investors had expected, and bond traders overreacted, sending bond yields and mortgage rates higher. Those rates and yields retreated a bit this week from that overreaction, Bankrate.com reported.
Most economists and mortgage bankers expect rates to generally rise the rest of this year, with the usual spikes and dips, Bankrate.com reported. The 30-year fixed has risen about half a point since January, and the Mortgage Bankers Association’s chief economist David Duncan predicts that it will rise another 20 basis points or so by the end of the year.
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 – 6.63 percent with 0.27 point
Los Angeles – 6.75 percent with 0.5 point
Chicago – 6.79 percent with 0.09 point
San Francisco – 6.75 percent with 0.3 point
Philadelphia – 6.61 percent with 0.43 point
Detroit – 6.73 percent with 0.01 point
Boston – 6.68 percent with 0.32 point
Houston – 6.69 percent with 0.54 point
Dallas – 6.71 percent with 0.47 point
Washington, D.C. – 6.55 percent with 0.69 point
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