Fixed mortgage rates spike this week

PercentRates on the most popular types of mortgages marched upward according to HSH.com’s Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages leapt by 12 basis points (0.12 percent) to 3.80 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates increased by just four basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 2.64 percent.

“Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke disturbed markets late last week,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. “Comments he made during regular Congressional testimony about the state of the economy left the impression that the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) policy might start to be pulled back soon, perhaps as early as September. That fostered a spike in interest rates as investors scrambled to adjust their positions.”

As well, the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting included comments from some Open Market Committee members who believed that the June meeting might be an appropriate place to begin tapering off purchases of mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds.

“Good news on home price gains and improving consumer moods released Tuesday exacerbated the investor move out of bonds and into stocks,” added Gumbinger. “The better and stronger any fresh economic news is, the greater the likelihood that an exit from QE will begin sooner rather than later. However, higher interest rates in the market may slow home buying, especially refinancing. In turn, this could slow the economy, so it will likely take several more months of solid reports to cause the Fed to move.”

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending May 28, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate:   3.80 percent
  • Average points: 0.19

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate:   2.64 percent
  • Average points: 0.15

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending May 21 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.68 percent
  • Average Points: 0.27

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   2.62 percent
  • Average Points: 0.20


HSH Associates Financial News Blog

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