Mixed economic indicators caused long-term mortgage rates to move sluggishly this week, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.
In Freddie Mac’s survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage held at an average 6.73 percent, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 6.38 percent from 6.39 percent a week ago. 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 also mixed this week, with the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM holding at 6.35 percent and the one-year ARM inching up from 5.71 percent to 5.72 percent. Points on these loans averaged 0.5.
“In a week marked by stock indexes reaching new highs on Wall Street, mortgage rates lingered near the previous week’s level as the latest economic indicators did not affect inflation expectations significantly,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. “June’s core producer price index inched up higher than market expectations, pushing the year-over-year growth rate to 1.8 percent, while the core consumer price index held steady at a 2.2 percent annual growth rate.”
In addition, home construction indicators were all over the map, as total housing starts last month unexpectedly climbed from May’s level, while single-family starts fell to a six-month low and building permits dropped to their weakest pace in 10 years.
In Bankrate.com’s survey, mortgage rates increased slightly for the second straight week, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate now 6.82 percent. Discount and origination points on the 30-year fixed averaged 0.23.
The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage popular for refinancing moved higher to 6.5 percent, Bankrate.com reported, and on larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate moved up to 7.06 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages were mixed, with the average 5/1 ARM nudging higher to 6.56 percent while the average one-year ARM held at 6.27 percent.
Since peaking five weeks ago, mortgage rates have shown little movement, according to Bankrate.com. In fact, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained in a narrow range of just one-tenth of one percentage point. Despite a calendar chock full of inflation data and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s semiannual appearance before Congress, there has been little news to rock the interest-rate boat. As a result, the outlook remains that the Fed will be on hold for the foreseeable future and mortgage rates have settled in for the dog days of summer.
Bankrate.com reported that average borrowing costs on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are now approximately $58 higher than they were three months ago. At the time, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.29 percent, meaning that a $165,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,020. With the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.82 percent, the same loan originated today would carry a monthly payment of $1,078.
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 – 6.86 percent with 0.02 point
Los Angeles – 6.9 percent with 0.35 point
Chicago – 6.87 percent with 0.04 point
San Francisco – 6.8 percent with 0.4 point
Philadelphia – 6.84 percent with 0.16 point
Detroit – 6.84 percent with no points
Boston – 6.85 percent with 0.01 point
Houston – 6.8 percent with 0.44 point
Dallas – 6.77 percent with 0.34 point
Washington, D.C. – 6.71 percent with 0.55 point