US Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

US Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

Residential News » North America Residential News Edition | By WPJ Staff | August 15, 2013 12:39 PM ET

Average mortgage rates in the U.S. are stabilizing after weeks of increases amid concerns of future announcements from the Federal Reserve. 

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.40 percent, unchanged from the previous week, according a release from Freddie Mac. At this time last year the 30-year fixed-rate average was 3.62 percent. 

Mortgage rates have registered ups and downs in the past couple of weeks. Last month, rates began to 'ease,' alleviating some concern. 

"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," Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac, said in a release. "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."

The ebb and flow in mortgages rates comes as the industry anticipates a possible announcement next month that the Federal Reserve will reduce its bond purchases.  Last week the Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 4.7 percent drop in mortgage applications, after an increase the week before. Mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.56 percent from 4.61 percent the prior week, the association reported.

President Barack Obama's endorsement of legislation to end Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac earlier this month also raised concerns of future increases to mortgage rates.

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