Moderating inflation and the July 4 holiday kept long-term mortgage rates mixed this week, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.
In Freddie Mac’s survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sank to an average 6.63 percent from 6.67 percent last week, and the 15-year fixed fell from 6.34 percent to 6.3 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 on the 30- and 15-year loans.
Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) costs were scattered this week, with the five-year Treasury-indexed ARM falling to 6.29 percent from 6.3 percent and the one-year ARM rising to 5.71 percent from 5.65 percent last week. Points on these loans averaged 0.4.
“Long-term mortgage rates continued to move lower for a third consecutive week, in part reflecting a moderation in core inflation,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a prepared statement. “In the statement accompanying their decision to leave the target federal funds rate unchanged, the Fed noted that core inflation had declined recently, though a ‘sustained’ moderation is still to be seen, and signaled that inflation risk continues to figure prominently in their policy decisions.
“Helping to ease some inflation concerns, May’s personal consumption expenditures report found that the core price measure had increased 1.9 percent for the year ending in May, within the 1 percent to 2 percent range with which the Fed is comfortable, and the lowest year-over-year rise in more than three years.”
In Bankrate.com’s survey, mortgage rates remained calm, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate holding at 6.74 percent. Discount and origination points on these loans averaged 0.25.
The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage popular for refinancing inched higher to 6.41 percent, Bankrate.com reported. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate nosed higher to 6.97 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages behaved the same, with the average one-year ARM and 5/1 ARM each rising, to 6.24 percent and 6.48 percent, respectively.
Although yields on Treasury notes declined below the 5 percent barrier this week, mortgage rates — which are closely tied to those yields — showed little movement, according to Bankrate.com. Lighter trading volumes in financial markets, brought on by the mid-week July 4 holiday, can lead to quirks such as a decline in benchmark bond yields that doesn’t carry through to mortgage rates, Bankrate.com reported. With more economic data looming in the next week, mortgage rates may awaken from the brief siesta.
According to Bankrate.com, fixed mortgage rates are roughly one-half percentage point higher than three months ago. At the time, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.25 percent, meaning that a $165,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,016. With the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.74 percent, the same loan originated today would carry a monthly payment of $1,069.
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 – 6.72 percent with 0.03 point
Los Angeles – 6.78 percent with 0.4 point
Chicago – 6.81 percent with 0.09 point
San Francisco – 6.7 percent with 0.45 point
Philadelphia – 6.77 percent with 0.17 point
Detroit – 6.8 percent with no points
Boston – 6.77 percent with 0.05 point
Houston – 6.74 percent with 0.44 point
Dallas – 6.68 percent with 0.47 point
Washington, D.C. – 6.6 percent with 0.43 point