Mortgage Rates Drift Higher

Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates this morning, showing rates up "a smidgen."

After holding steady for the past three weeks, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) edged up three basis points to 3.56% while 15-year FRMs notched their third straight week at 2.77%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.95% while the 15-year FRM was at 3.19%.

Among adjustable-rate mortgages, 5/1 ARMs held steady in the most recent week at 2.64%, while one-year ARMs showed the greatest gains of all, rising four basis points to end at 2.65%.

Commenting on the numbers, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft characterized rates as "relatively stable, hovering near record lows," and said this is "helping to spur new home construction. For instance, new construction on single-family houses rose to an annualized rate of 613,000 in January, the most since July 2008. In addition, single-family building permits were up to the highest issuance level since June 2008."


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