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Freddie Mac: Employment Gains Push Mortgage Rates Up

Freddie Mac released its second weekly update of the new year on national mortgage rates this morning, noting that fixed mortgage rates moved higher following December's employment report.

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) currently average 3.40%, up six basis points from last week's 3.34%, and even with rates seen at the beginning of November. Fifteen-year FRMs cost 2.66%, up two basis points from last week, and a return to mid-December levels.

Among adjustable-rate mortgages, one-year ARMs are up three basis points at 2.60%, while 5/1 ARMs are breaking the curve this week -- getting cheaper, and dropping four basis points to 2.67%,.

Of the four, 15-year FRMs remain the best bargain, having fallen 16% since this time last year. In Freddie's Jan. 12, 2012, update, that particular flavor of mortgage cost 3.16%, or about 19% more than it costs today.

Freddie Mac noted that the economy added 155,000 jobs, above the consensus market forecast, in December and that the unemployment rate stayed steady at 7.8%, the lowest since December 2008.


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