Housing Market

Mortgage rates remain little changed despite positive economic indicators

Freddie MacData released by Freddie Mac last week showed that despite positive economic indicators, mortgage rates changed little from the previous week.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.42 percent for the week ending Dec. 12, down from 4.46 percent the previous week. The 15-year FRM fell to 3.43 percent from 3.47 percent. One year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.32 percent and the 15-year FRM averaged 2.66 percent.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage fell slightly from 2.99 percent to 2.94 percent, and the one-year ARM also fell to reach 2.51 percent, compared to 2.59 percent the previous week. One year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 2.7 percent, and the one-year ARM averaged 2.53 percent.

Rates changed little despite a number of positive economic indicators. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 203,000 in November, and the unemployment rate fell to seven percent. Outstanding single family mortgage debt rose for the first time since 2008.

“This is a positive sign as it reflects that the pick-up in new purchase-money originations has offset loan paydowns and led to a net increase in principal outstanding,” Frank Nothaft, the vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, said.

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