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Mortgage Rates Remain Flat Amid Uncertainty

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Mortgage rates barely budged this past week, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey.

With the Federal Reserve holding interest rates steady and financial markets in a holding pattern, mortgage rates across the U.S. were up about a quarter of a percent pending developments on government stimulus.

Thirty-year fixed rates closed the week at 4.33 percent, up just 0.26 percent from last week, making the monthly payment for a $200,000 loan $993. Likewise, 15-year fixed rates climbed 0.23 percent to 3.53 percent. The larger jumbo 30-year fixed was unchanged at 4.31 percent.

Adjustable mortgage rates were down slightly, with the five-year ARM slipping to 3.49 percent and the seven-year ARM sliding to 3.71 percent. The drop was roughly 0.30 percent.

Statistics from Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Summary differed slightly from Bankrate’s, with 30-year fixed year mortgages averaging at 4.19 percent with an average .5 for the week ending February 2, unchanged from last year. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.72 percent.

The GSE also recorded a slight jump in 15-year FRM averaging at 3.41 percent with an average .5 point, up from last week’s average of 3.40 percent. This time last year, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.01 percent.

Finally, five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.23 percent this week with an average .4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.20 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 2.85 percent.

Bankrate is being a shade more optimistic, stating that because mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds, the likelihood of reduced regulation, and the possibility of tax cuts and additional fiscal stimulus through infrastructure spending have buoyed hopes for faster economic growth ever since Election Day.

Barely two weeks after, though, investors are “getting antsy for some details,” Bankrate reported. “Without [them] it will be difficult to assess the path of the economy in 2017 and beyond.”

For the moment, however, mortgage rates and the housing industry in general are in what Holden Lewis, a Senior Mortgage Analyst at Bankrate, said were a holding pattern.

Over the past year, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.81 percent, Lewis reported.

About Author: Scott_Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.
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