Industry News

Job gains spark rise in mortgage rates

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Mortgage rates climbed this week following Friday's Department of Labor announcement that the economy created significantly more jobs in December than expected, Freddie Mac said today. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to an average 6.21 percent this week from 6.18 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage gained from 5.94 percent to 5.96 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 on these loans. "The December employment report came in higher than expected, providing a lift to interest rates," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, in a statement. "The gain in employment in December exceeded the consensus forecast, and helped ease fears about the state of the economy. But stronger employment and higher wages put upward pressure on inflation, which, in turn, translates into higher interest rates." The five-year Treasury-in...