According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate increasing for the eighth-consecutive week.
Freddie Mac's Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said, "Optimistic testimony on Capitol Hill from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sent Treasury yields higher as Powell stated his outlook for the economy has strengthened since December. Following Treasuries, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped 3 basis points to reach 4.43 percent in this week's survey. The 30-year rate has been on a tear in 2018, climbing 48 basis points since the start of the year and increasing for 8 consecutive weeks.
"As we documented, historically when mortgage rates surge, housing swoons. But we think strength in the economy and pent up housing demand should allow U.S. housing markets to post modest growth this year even with higher mortgage rates. We really have to wait for housing markets to heat up in spring, but early indications are that housing demand remains robust to these rate increases. The MBA reported in their latest weekly applications survey that home purchase mortgage originations were up 3 percent from a year ago".
Freddie Mac News Facts
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.43 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 1, 2018, up from last week when it averaged 4.40 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.90 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.85 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.32 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.62 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down slightly from last week when it averaged 3.65. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.14 percent.
According to Zillow's newly released 2018 Q1 Home Price Expectations Survey, new changes to U.S. tax laws led 41 percent of survey respondents to lower their long-term expectations for the U.S. housing market.