Aug
04

Mortgage Rates Inch Upward

August 04, 2012

Here’s something the struggling national and Chicago real estate industries haven’t seen for a while: Mortgage rates are no longer at record lows.

Despite a mixed bag of economic data, mortgage rates rose this week for the first time in seven weeks. In fact, over the past 14 weeks, the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage had fallen to or matched record-lows during 13 of those weeks.

Despite the increase, mortgage rates are still much lower than they were a year ago.

Mortgage rates for the week ending August 2, according to Freddie Mac:

*30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM): Averaged 3.55 percent, up from last week when it averaged 3.49 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.39 percent.

*15-year FRM: Averaged 2.83 percent, up from last week when it averaged 2.80 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.54 percent.

*5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): Averaged 2.75 percent, up from last week when it averaged 2.74 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.18 percent.

*1-year Treasury-indexed ARM: Averaged 2.70 percent, down from last week when it averaged 2.71 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.02 percent.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, said the mixed domestic economic indicators pushed mortgage rates higher.

“The U.S. economy grew at a 1.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, slower than the 2.0 percent growth in the first quarter with consumer spending in June unchanged from May. However, consumer confidence rose in July for the first time in five months according to The Conference Board,” he said.

“Housing data were also assorted. The S&P-500 Case Shiller® 20-City Composite Index rose for the fourth consecutive month in May with 18 of the cities experiencing positive growth. Nonetheless, pending home sales fell 1.4 percent in June, below the market consensus forecast of a 0.3 percent increase, and May’s figure had a downward revision.”

How will next week’s mixed bag of economic indicators affect mortgage rates? Stay tuned.

Categories: Economy, Mortgages

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