Mortgage Rates Start 2014 on the Up and Up

Mortgage rates began 2014 with a round of increases, kicking off a trend many experts believe will continue through the rest of the year.

Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.53 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending January 2, up from the last week of 2013, when it averaged 4.48 percent. A year ago, the 30-year FRM was at 3.34 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.55 percent (0.7 point), climbing from 3.52 percent. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also saw an increase, rising to 3.05 percent (0.4 point) from 3.00 percent. The 1-year ARM was flat at 2.56 percent (0.5 point).

Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, cited three major factors behind the week’s increases: rising consumer confidence as reported by the Conference Board, a strong showing for home prices in the most recentS&P/Case-Shiller Indices, and a slight gain in pending home sales for November—all of which served as “signs of a stronger economic recovery,” he said.

Meanwhile, finance site Bankrate.com reported on the findings in its weekly survey, putting the 30-year fixed at 4.69 percent—up 6 basis points—with the 15-year fixed at 3.73 percent—up 3 points. The 5/1 ARM was up to 3.52 percent, nearly 10 basis points up, Bankrate reported.

“Mortgage rates finished 2013 more than a full percentage point higher than where they began,” Bankrate said in a release. “While mortgage rates are still below September’s high point of the year, they did finish 2013 near the upper end of this year’s range.”

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