Mortgage rates inched up slightly from last week, following positive economic releases on housing starts and building permits.
“Mortgage rates rose slightly leading up to the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement,” Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said, referring to the Fed’s recent decision to taper its bond-buying program. “The statement indicated that the central bank would begin to trim its bond buying program. The Fed noted that the economy expanded at a modest pace, but the unemployment rate remains elevated. In addition, housing starts in November rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,091,000, the highest rate since February 2008. Permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,007,000 in November, 7.9 percent higher than in November 2012.”
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 4.47 percent for the week ending Dec. 19—up from 4.42 percent last week. The 15-year FRM rose from 3.43 percent last week to 3.51 percent.
The five-year adjustable rate mortgage increased to 2.96 percent from 2.94 percent last week, and the one-year ARM rose to 2.57 percent from 2.51 percent last week.