Mortgage Rates Steady for Second Week in Row

Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates Thursday morning, showing rates mostly unchanged since seven days ago.

Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages (FRM) held steady at 4.40%, while 15-year FRMs inched up one basis point to 3.44%.

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) were somewhat more volatile. 5/1 ARMs tacked on four basis points, rising to 3.23%; one-year ARMs jumped five b.p. to 2.67%.

Commenting on the numbers, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft noted that "fixed mortgage rates have been bouncing around over the past few weeks on market speculation that the Fed will taper some of its monetary stimulus. In fact, 65 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the Fed to reduce the amount of bond purchases at its September 17th and 18th monetary policy committee meetings. Currently, mortgage rates on 30-year fixed mortgages are 1.1 percentage points above their all-time low set on November 21, 2012, which translates into $125 more per month in mortgage payments on a $200,000 loan."

Mortgage rates spiked in June after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the Federal Reserve could slow its bond purchases this year. The purchases have helped keep long-term interest rates low, encouraging more homebuying. A year ago, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were at 3.62% and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were at 2.88%.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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