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Continued Job Growth Lifts Mortgage Rates from 2015 Lows

rates-riseContinued employment growth in the United States pushed mortgage rates up slightly in the last week, market reports show.

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending February 12 shows the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 3.69 percent (0.6 point) this week, up a full 10 basis points from last week's 2015 low of 3.59 percent.

The jump followed last week's Employment Situation Report, which estimated that employers added 257,000 new jobs in January after gains of 329,000 in December and 423,000 in November. Wages also picked up, climbing 0.5 percent after a decline of 0.2 percent in December.

In its own weekly survey, Bankrate.com said the surge in job growth in recent months could push the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates as early as June.

"The strength of the U.S. economy, at least for this week, was enough to overshadow the concerns about slower growth in both developed and emerging markets around the globe," Bankrate said.

Even with the sizable one-week increase, the 30-year fixed average is still barely above its May 2013 low of 3.35 percent (as measured by Freddie Mac).

The 15-year FRM also moved up this week, averaging 2.99 percent (0.6 point) compared to 2.92 percent a week ago.

Adjustable rates, meanwhile, averaged 2.97 percent (0.5 point) for the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid product—a surge of 15 basis points—and 2.42 percent (0.4 point) for the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Bankrate's survey turned up similar results. According to the site, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.90 percent this week, while the 15-year fixed averaged 3.17 percent. The 5/1 ARM came to an average 3.32 percent.

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

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