Industry News

Job news pushes mortgage rates lower

30-year fixed expected to stay below 6.5% this year, Freddie reports

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A rise in jobless claims and weaker employment growth sent mortgage rates down this week, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. In Freddie Mac' survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to an average 6.28 percent from last week's 6.34 percent, while the average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans dipped from 6.06 percent to 6.02 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.3 on the 30- and 15-year loans. "News of moderate employment gains in January led to a halt in the recent upward trend of interest-rate movements," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "The 111,000 jobs added last month were fewer than had been anticipated, while the unemployment rate edged up unexpectedly. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also declined this week, falling to an average 5.99 percent with an average 0.4 point, while one-year Treasury-indexe...