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Mortgage Rates Follow Bond Yields Higher

Written by on Thursday, 15 March 2012 7:00 pm

In Freddie Mac's results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, mortgage rates moved higher amid positive jobs data and increasing bond yields. Despite the increase, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage has been below 4.00 percent for 15 consecutive weeks helping to keep homebuyer affordability high.

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending March 15, 2012, up from last week when it averaged 3.88 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.76 percent. 

  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.16 percent with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.97 percent. 

  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.83 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.57 percent.

  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.79 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.73 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.17 percent.  

    According to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac:

    "An upbeat employment report for February caused U.S. Treasury bond yields to increase over the week and mortgage rates followed. The economy gained 227,000 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. In addition, the Federal Reserve's March 13th policy committee announcement noted that it anticipates the unemployment rate will decline gradually toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its mandate to achieve maximum employment with stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates."

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