After weeks of moderating, mortgage rates have increased, according to the results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
Though the rates have recorded an increase, Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac pointed out that mortgage rates still remain below year-ago levels for the fourth week in a row. “ In late 2018, mortgage rates rose over a full percentage point from the prior year, which was one of the main reasons that weakness in home sales continued into early 2019.” Khater also indicated that “the impact of recent lower rates and a strong labor market has led to a rise in purchase mortgage demand as we start the spring homebuying season.”
The survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.41 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 7, 2019. This is an increase from last week when it averaged 4.35 percent. The 30-year FRM averaged 4.46 percent around the same period the previous year. According to the survey, the 15-year FRM for the week averaged 3.83 percent with an average 0.4 point—an increase from the 3.77 percent average last week. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent the past year around the same period, the survey indicated.
Freddie Mac’s survey also highlighted that the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.87 percent with an average 0.3 point. This is an increase from last week when it averaged 3.84 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.63 percent, the report stated.
According to Freddie Mac’s February forecast of the mortgage market, after peaking last fall, mortgage interest rates had fallen at the start of 2019. As of the week of February 14, 2019, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was down from a year ago. The report stated that “the decline in mortgage interest rates could provide some welcome relief to a housing market that is looking to regain momentum. We forecast that the U.S. economy will continue to grow, albeit at a slower rate, and that the housing market will bounce back, posting modest growth in 2019.”