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Residential Mortgage Rates on the Rise Again in U.S.


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Frank Nothaft

Based on Freddie Mac's (OTC:FMCC) latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), both long- and short-term rates are rising this week.

Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaft said, "Mortgage rates followed bond yields a little higher this week amid positive data reports from The Conference Board that suggest the economy is strengthening. The index of leading indicators rose 1.0 percent in December, nearly twice that of the market consensus forecast and represented the sixth consecutive monthly increase, according to the Board. They also reported a stronger gain in consumer confidence for January, rising to an eight-month high. In addition, the share of households who said jobs were plentiful rose to the highest level since May 2009."

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.80 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending January 27, 2011, up from last week when it averaged 4.74 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.98 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.09 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.05 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.39 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.70 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.69 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.25 percent.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.26 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.25 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.29 percent.

Nothaft further commented, "Consumer demand in the housing market is also showing some positive gains. Sales of existing homes rose in December to the strongest pace since May and sales of new homes jumped to the highest since April. At their current sales rate, the expected time on the market fell from 9.5 to 8.l months for existing houses and fell from 8.4 to 6.9 months for new homes."

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Freddie Mac defines its regions as follows:

Northeast: NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT
Southeast: NC, SC, TN, KY, GA, AL, FL, MS, PR, VI
North Central: OH, IN, IL, MI, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD
Southwest: TX, LA, NM, OK, AR, MO, KS, CO, NE, WY
West: CA, AZ, NV, OR, WA, UT, ID, MT, HI, AK, GU



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