Long-term mortgage rates this week inched higher after September’s employment report reflected a stronger-than-expected economy, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.
In Freddie Mac’s survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to an average 6.4 percent from 6.37 percent a week earlier, while the average 15-year fixed rate grew from 6.03 percent to 6.06 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 and 0.5, respectively, on the 30- and 15-year loans.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also rose this week, with the average five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM moving up to 6.12 percent from 6.11 percent and the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM jumping from 5.58 percent to 5.73 percent. Points on the five-year and one-year loans averaged 0.5 and 0.6, respectively.
“Mortgage rates edged up this week following the release of the September employment figures,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. “The economy added 110,000 new jobs last month, while July and August were revised upwards by a total of 188,000 jobs, reflecting greater strength in the economy during that time than initially indicated.
“Meanwhile, following the release of the Sept. 18 minutes of the Fed’s Open Market Committee meeting, financial markets reassessed the likelihood of another rate cut at the upcoming Oct. 31 meeting,” Nothaft said. “The market currently is looking for about a 30 percent chance of a 25-basis-point rate cut rather than the 50 percent chance that they had previously expected.”
In Bankrate.com’s survey, mortgage rates increased this week, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising to 6.5 percent, and discount and origination points averaging 0.34.
The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage popular for refinancing increased by the same amount, to 6.18 percent, Bankrate.com reported, while the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate inched lower to 7.27 percent. Adjustable mortgage rates increased as well, with the average one-year ARM nosing higher 6.14 percent, and the average 5/1 ARM jumping to 6.37 percent.
According to Bankrate.com, mortgage rates moved higher after the September employment report showed the labor market wasn’t nearly as dire as the previous month’s report indicated. The initial job loss for August was revised upward to show tepid growth of 89,000 jobs. The July growth in payrolls was also revised higher by 25,000 jobs. With job growth not appearing as bad as initially thought, this gives the Federal Open Market Committee some breathing room on interest rates. Unlike last month when a dreadful report cemented an interest-rate cut, the Fed now has the latitude to pause at the next meeting.
Looking back three months ago, Bankrate.com reported that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.78 percent, meaning that a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,301. Now that the average conforming 30-year fixed rate is 6.5 percent, the same $200,000 loan carries a monthly payment of $1,264, a savings of $37 a month.
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 – 6.52 percent with 0.17 point
Los Angeles – 6.54 percent with 0.62 point
Chicago – 6.52 percent with 0.17 point
San Francisco – 6.45 percent with 0.65 point
Philadelphia – 6.61 percent with 0.11 point
Detroit – 6.55 percent with no points
Boston – 6.57 percent with 0.04 point
Houston – 6.45 percent with 0.65 point
Dallas – 6.42 percent with 0.5 point
Washington, D.C. – 6.4 percent with 0.54 point