Geo-Political Issues Influence U.S. Mortgage Rates Uptick This Week
According to Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey
(PMMS), mortgage rates increasing from the previous week influenced by inflationary and ongoing geopolitical concerns. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage matches its February 3, 2011 level of 4.81 percent.
Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaft said, "Mortgage rates were up this week compared to last, but still remain at relatively low levels. The rate uptick was related to higher than anticipated inflation data for February and ongoing geopolitical concerns. The 12-month growth rate in the consumer price index rose 2.1 percent in February, compared to 1.6 percent in January; however, most of the increase was due to food and energy prices, which tend to be volatile. The core index rose 1.1 percent, slightly up from 1.0 percent in January."
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.81 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 24, 2011, up from last week when it averaged 4.76 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.99 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 4.04 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.34 percent.
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.62 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.57 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.14 percent.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.21 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.17 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.2 percent.
Nothaft further said "The housing market recovery experienced a setback during the start of this year. Existing home sales fell 9.6 percent from January to February and were down 2.8 percent from February 2010. Sales of new homes declined for the second consecutive month in February to record lows dating back to 1963. Even new construction on one-family homes fell 11.8 percent in February to the third slowest pace since 1959."