Industry News

Mortgage rates get boost from jobs, retail sales

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Mortgage rates edged up this week on news of healthy job gains and higher retail sales, Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com reported today in their weekly surveys. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched up this week to an average 6.12 percent from 6.11 percent a week ago, while the 15-year fixed gained from 5.84 percent to 5.86 percent during the period. Points, which are fees charged by lenders for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 on the 30-year and 0.5 on the 15-year loans. "Mixed economic reports have kept mortgage rates from making any drastic changes this week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "On the upside, there was stronger job growth and greater-than-expected retail sales in November. Offsetting that news was weaker wage growth in that same time frame and lower indications of consumer sentiment in December. "Long-term mortgage rates, while expected to rise over the new year, will very like...