Fixed Mortgage Rates Spike Higher

Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates this morning, showing rates rising, which it attributed to stronger signs of jobs growth and consumer spending.

Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages (FRM) spiked sharply, rising 11 basis points in the past week to hit 3.63%, their highest level since August of last year. Shorter-term 15-year FRMs gained three basis points to 2.79%.

Adjustable-rate mortgages went different ways. The report shows 5/1 ARMs dropped two basis points to 2.61%. One-year ARMs moved the other way, regaining the basis point they lost last week, and returning to 2.64%.

Commenting on the numbers, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft attributed the updraft in fixed rates to "signs of jobs growth and consumer spending."

"The economy added 236,000 new workers in February which helped push down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent," said Nothaft. "This helped offset the effects of the payroll tax holiday expiration and led to a 1.1 percent increase in retail sales, which was well above the market consensus forecast."

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