Upward movement in bond yields propelled mortgage interest rates slightly up this week, according to market reports.
Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate came up slightly to 4.12 percent (0.5 point) for the week ending September 11, marking the first increase after three weeks of year-low averages.
A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.57 percent in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The 15-year FRM also shifted up in the latest survey, rising 2 basis points to an average 3.26 percent (0.5 point).
Among adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), the average rate for a 5-year loan slid up to 2.99 percent (0.5 point) for the week, while the average 1-year ARM rate jumped up 5 basis points to 2.45 percent (0.4 point).
Personal finance site Bankrate.com also reported upward momentum all around this week, recording the 30-year fixed at an average 4.27 percent and the 15-year fixed at an average 3.42 percent. The 5/1 ARM, meanwhile, moved up to 3.29 percent, the site reported.
The week's bump in interest rates follows last week's disappointing jobs report, which showed payrolls grew by only 142,000 throughout the month of August.
While disheartening economic data would normally drive interest rates down, analysts at Bankrate say investors are more interested in the reaction when policymakers from the Federal Reserve meet in a week to determine their next move.
"[T]he jobs report wasn't so disappointing as to deter the Federal Reserve from continuing to taper their bond purchases or alter their timetable for raising short-term interest rates," Bankrate said in its weekly release. "Both bond yields and mortgage rates were slightly higher in anticipation that the Fed will continue to hint at the eventuality of interest rates at next week's scheduled meeting."
Even if the Fed does show an inclination toward bringing its federal funds rate up, a spike in interest rates isn't necessarily a certainty: In a recent study of investor activity from the San Francisco Fed, researchers found investors seem to have forecast a much longer timeline for rate hikes than even the policymakers at the Fed anticipate.