Mortgage Rate News & Analysis
Long-term interest rates made a significant rise in March, according to data from mortgage finance company Freddie Mac, reaching above the 4 percent mark for the first time in about 5 months.
Today's Mortgage Rates
Rates fell during the first two weeks of the month, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) dropping to 3.90 percent, excluding fees during the first week, down from 3.95 percent during the ending week of February. The average rate on a 15-year FRM slipped to 3.17 percent from 3.19 percent and the one-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) average was barely changed at 2.72 percent from 2.73 percent the week before.
During the next week, rates again moved back into record-low territory, with the 30-year FRM average falling to 3.88 percent just shy of the all-time low of 3.87 percent in February. The 15-year FRM did, however, hit a new low, sinking to 3.13 percent. The one-year ARM moved back up to 2.73 percent.
Positive news from the jobs market helped interest rates move upward the next week, with the 30-year FRM averaging 3.92 percent. The 15-FRM grew to 3.16 percent and the one-year ARM carried an average rate of 2.79 percent.
"An upbeat employment report for February caused U.S. Treasury bond yields to increase over the week and mortgage rates followed," said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft. "The economy gained 7,000 jobs, above the market consensus forecast, and revisions added another 61,000 to January and December. Job growth over the last six months was the strongest since 2006."
Rates then took another leap upward, as the average interest rate on a 30-year FRM rose above 4 percent to 4.08 percent, and the 15-year FRM jumped to 3.30 percent. The one-year ARM grew to 2.84 percent.
"Mortgage rates are catching up with increases in U.S. Treasury bond yields placing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate above 4 percent for the first time since the end of October 2011," Nothaft commented. "Bond yields rose over the past two weeks in part due to an improving assessment of the state of the economy by the Federal Reserve, better than expected results of commercial bank stress tests and the likelihood of a second bailout for Greece."
What's Next for Interest Rates?
Analysts believe the next month will likely produce slightly better economic news, as things have been trending, which could result in mortgage rates hovering right around or above 4 percent in April.