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Mortgage Rates Lose Direction, Moving Up, Down, and All Around

Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates on Thursday morning, showing more mixed movements among mortgages of various durations than had been seen in the past few weeks.

The trend of declining rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs), for example, finally hit a wall this week, with rates holding steady at 3.33%. Rates for 30-year FRMs actually reversed course -- rising five basis points to reach 4.28%.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were similarly mixed; 5/1 ARMs got three basis points cheaper, falling to 3.05%. One-year ARMs got more expensive, tacking on four b.p. and rising to 2.55%.

Commenting on the results, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft  noted that employment growth was weak in January, as the economy added only 113,000 net new jobs. However, the unemployment rate continued to decline, falling to 6.6% -- its 13th consecutive month of steady to declining unemployment.

These conflicting trends may help to explain why mortgage rates are going every which way.

 

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Rich Smith
TMFDitty

As a defense writer for The Motley Fool, I focus on defense and aerospace stocks. My job? Every day of the week, I'm monitoring the news, figuring out the winners and losers, and tracking down the promising companies for you to invest in. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace, and other great stories.

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