Mortgage Rates Reverse Trend, Heading Higher

Three weeks after the end of the showdown that closed the government, economic data has shown enough improvement to provide some lift to mortgage rates.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging a rate of 4.16 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending November 7, up from last week’s average of 4.10 percent. A year ago, the 30-year FRM was averaging 3.40 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.27 percent (0.7 point), rising from 3.20 percent.

“Fixed mortgage rates rebounded slightly this week on more positive economic data releases,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac. “Production in the

manufacturing industry expanded for the fifth month in a row in October to the strongest pace since April 2011. Similarly, the non-manufacturing sector grew for the second consecutive month in October and beat the market consensus forecast of a decline. These increases were widespread across the nation, from Chicago to Milwaukee to New York.”

Adjustable rates, on the other hand, were flat to down. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.96 percent (0.5 point) this week, unchanged from last week, while the 1-year ARM was 2.61 percent (0.5 point), down from 2.64 percent.

Financial site Bankrate.com reported similar findings in its weekly national survey, with the 30-year fixed average coming up to 4.35 percent and the 15-year fixed rising to 3.42 percent.

Bankrate’s measure for the 5/1 ARM, meanwhile, slid down 1 basis point to 3.25 percent.

“Mortgage rates moved higher this week as the post-government shutdown clouds have begun to lift. While the economic news hasn’t been stellar, it hasn’t shown that the economy cratered due to the shutdown and debt ceiling brinksmanship,” Bankrate said in a release. “This has been enough to lift yields on long-term government bonds and mortgage rates, leading in to this Friday’s release of the October jobs report.”

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