WASHINGTON – Rates on 30-year mortgages rose for a third straight week, hitting the highest level in more than three months.
Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.24 percent this week, up from 6.04 percent last week.
That is the highest level since the week of Nov. 15, when 30-year rates also averaged 6.24 percent. It marked a significant reversal from the beginning of the year, when 30-year rates dropped below 6 percent for six straight weeks, reflecting a significant slowdown in the economy. That slowdown prompted the Federal Reserve to aggressively cut the short-term interest rate it controls by 1.25 percentage points in January, the biggest one-month cut in this rate by the Fed in more than a quarter-century.
While Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke again signaled during congressional testimony this week that the Fed was prepared to cut rates further in an effort to stave off a recession, investors have grown concerned about what inflation might do to their bond investments. The inflation worries have helped push up mortgage rates, which are set in bond markets.
During January, refinancings had hit a 12-month high as homeowners sought to take advantage of falling mortgage rates to lower their monthly payments.
In other rate moves this week, rates on 15-year mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, rose to 5.72 percent, up from 5.64 percent last week. Rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 5.43 percent, up from 5.37 percent last week.
Rates on one-year ARMs climbed to 5.11 percent, from 4.98 percent last week.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.