Posts Tagged ‘Interest Rates’

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -February 24th, 2020

February 24, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -February 24th, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic reporting included readings on builder confidence in housing markets, housing starts and building permits issued and sales of previously owned homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: Builder Confidence Remains Strong Despite Challenges

February data from the National Association of Home Builders indicated strong builder confidence in housing market conditions overall, but February’s index reading was one point lower at 74. Readings over 50 indicate that most builders have a positive outlook on housing market conditions.

Homebuilder outlook remained positive, although building materials and buildable lots remained costly. Demand for affordable single-family homes was high due to short supplies of existing homes for sale. Homebuyers turned to new homes to find more options. Low mortgage rates and strong job markets contributed to high builder confidence readings.

Housing Starts Fall in January as Building Permits Rise to 13-Year High

Commerce Department data on housing starts showed that the pace of housing starts slipped  3.60 percent from 1.626 million starts in December to 1.567 million starts in January. Housing starts are calculated on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis; analysts said that January’s housing starts were markedly lower after an unexpected rise in housing starts in December 2019.

Building permits rose by 9.60 percent in January with 1.55 million permits issued as compared to 1.420 permits issued in December and an expected annual pace of 1.453 million housing starts for January.

Ongoing shortages of available single-family homes can only be resolved by building more homes, but home builders face obstacles in obtaining necessary zoning  approvals. January’s increase in permits issued is expected to help ease persistently slim inventories of homes for sale.

Sales of previously-owned homes dipped in January due to short supplies of homes for sale and fewer options for would-be home buyers. Pre-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 5.46 million sales as compared to December’s reading of 5.53 million sales.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose two basis points to 3.49 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose two basis points to 2.99 percent.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell by three basis points to 3.25 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.80 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points averaged 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose to 210,000 claims filed, which matched expectations. The prior week’s reading showed 206,000 first-time claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on home price trends from Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency and readings on new home sales and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new unemployment claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -February 18th, 2020

February 18, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -February 18th, 2020Last week’s economic reporting included releases on inflation, retail sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Hits Highest Growth Pace Since 2018

Consumer staples including rent, prepared food and medical expenses caused inflation to rise 0.10 percent from December to January, which was the smallest month-to-month growth in four months. Rents drove month-to-month inflation with a growth rate of  0.40 percent.

Year-over-year inflation grew from 2.30 percent to 2.50 percent, which was the highest year-over-year growth rate since Fall 2018. Analysts said that inflation remained low according to historical data and that no sharp inflationary growth was expected.

The rapid acceleration of rents and home prices continued to create obstacles for renters and homebuyers, who faced prices rising faster than the overall inflation rate and wage growth,

Retail Sales Dip in January

The Commerce Department reported an 0.30 percent drop in retail sales for January, which matched expectations, but was half the growth rate of 0.60 percent posted in December. January’s lower reading was largely attributed to clothing stores, which experienced a 3.10 percent decline in sales after the holiday season.

Analysts expected retail sales to grow at a pace fast enough to support economic growth throughout 2020.

Mortgage Rates and New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher rates for fixed-rate mortgage loans last week; rates averaged 3.47 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and were two basis points higher. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged one basis point higher at 2.97percent.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages rose an average of four basis points to 3.28 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.80 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose to 205,000 new claims filed but fell short of an expected reading of 211,000 new claims filed. The prior week’s reading for new unemployment claims was 203,000 claims filed.

The University of Michigan reported higher consumer confidence for February; the Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 100.8 from January’s index reading of  99.8. Analysts predicted no change for February’s reading.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on NAHB Housing Markets, Housing starts, building permits and sales of previously-owned homes. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -February 10th, 2020

February 10, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - February 10th, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings on construction spending and public and private-sector job growth. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Construction Spending Dips in December

Overall spending on public and private-sector construction spending dropped by  -0.20 percent in December to an annual rate of $1.33 trillion. Analysts expected spending to increase by 0.10 percent based on November’s revised reading of 0.70 percent growth in construction spending.

Spending on residential construction rose 1.04 percent in December, which is good news for housing shortages in many areas of the U.S. Lower mortgage and interest rates have fueled builder confidence as fears about the impact of tariffs on building materials were diminished.

Chronic short supplies of homes, especially affordable homes, have impacted housing markets in recent years. Builders seeking higher profits have focused on high-end construction as demand increased for entry-level and mid-range homes. Slim supplies of available homes continued to sideline buyers who couldn’t find affordable homes or homes they wanted to buy.

Bidding wars and cash buyers in high-demand markets also add additional pressure to home buyers who depend on mortgage financing. Real estate pros and industry analysts have long said the only way to ease high demand and rapidly rising home prices is for builders to produce more homes at a variety of price points.

Mortgage Rates, New Unemployment Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower fixed mortgage rates for the third consecutive week as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell six basis points to 3.45 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged three basis points lower at 2.97 percent.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged eight basis points higher at 3.32 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

New unemployment claims fell to 202,000 claims filed as compared to 215,000 new claims expected and the prior week’s reading of 217,000 first-time claims filed. The month-to-month reading for first time jobless claims is considered more stable and showed 211,750 new claims filed. The lowest post-recession month-to-month reading of 193,000 new claims filed was posted in April 2019.

Public and Private-Sector Jobs Increase in January

The government’s Non-farm Payrolls report posted 225,000 new public and private-sector jobs in January as compared to December’s reading of 147,000 jobs posted. An average of 211,000 public and private-sector jobs were added in the last three months. ADP reported  291,000 private-sector jobs added in January as compared to 199,000 jobs added in December.

The Commerce Department reported a national unemployment rate of 3.60 percent in January; analysts expected the unemployment rate to hold steady at December’s reading of 3.50 percent.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation, retail sales and consumer sentiment. Weekly reports on mortgage rates ad first-time jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -February 3rd, 2020

February 3, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week –February 3rd, 2020Last week’s economic reports included readings on home prices, new and pending home sales and a statement from the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee. The University of Michigan issued its monthly statement on consumer sentiment and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Picks Up in November

According to Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index for November, home prices rose by 3.50 percent on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to October’s reading of 3.20 percent. Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index showed that home prices for cities included in the Index rose 2.60 percent year-over-year. All 20 cities showed growth in home prices on a month-to-month basis.

Cities with top rates of home price growth have shifted from high-cost coastal metro areas to more moderately priced areas inland and in the South. Phoenix, Arizona reported a reading of 5.90 percent growth in home prices year-over-year and has held first place in the 20-City Home Price Index for six consecutive months.

Charlotte, North Carolina held second place with a year-over-year home price gain of 5.20 percent. Tampa, Florida reported a  5.00 percent gain in home prices and held third place in the 20-City Index.

New Home Sales dipped by 3000 sales in December to a rate of 694,000 sales on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. December sales of new homes fell short of the expected reading of 735,000 sales according to the Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The seasonally-adjusted inventory of 327,000 new homes available represented a 5.70 months supply of new homes based on the current sales rate.

In related news, the National Association of Realtors® reported fewer pending home sales in December; all regions reported fewer pending sales in December as compared to November. Pending sales in the Northeast were -4.00 percent lower; pending sales in the Midwestern region fell by -3.60 percent and  December’spending sales in the South and West were -5.50 percent and -5.40 percent lower respectively.

The steep drop in pending home sales was attributed to slim inventories of available homes, but fewer buyers make offers on homes during the winter holiday season. Pending sales represent homes for which purchase offers have been received but not closed.

The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve unanimously voted to hold the Fed’s benchmark interest rate at a range of 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that current domestic economic conditions were strong, but he also noted potential unrest in global economies due to factors including the outbreak of a highly contagious Asian flu virus.

Mortgage Rates and New Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week with the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages nine basis points lower at 3.51 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged four basis points lower at 3.00 percent; interest rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages were four basis points lower at an average of 3.24 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages,

Fewer first-time jobless claims were filed last week; 216,000 new claims were filed as compared to 223,000 claims filed the prior week. The University of Michigan reported that consumer sentiment rose to an index reading of 99.80; analysts expected a reading of 99.10 based on December’s reading of 99.30.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on construction spending, public and private-sector job growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 21st, 2020

January 21, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 21st, 2020Last week’s economic reports included the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index along with readings on consumer sentiment and weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

NAHB: Builder Confidence d in Housing Markets Drops 1 Point in January

Homebuilder confidence in overall housing market conditions dropped one point in January, but analysts said that a new trade deal would likely benefit builder interests. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index dropped to an index reading of 75 from December’s reading of 76; December’s reading was the highest since 1999.

The reading for builder confidence in January 2019 was 58; while any reading over 50 is considered positive, builder confidence increased significantly year-over-year.

Sub-index readings used to calculate the overall housing market index reading were mixed;  builder confidence in current housing market conditions fell -3 points to an index reading of 81.

Homebuilder confidence in market conditions over the next six months was unchanged at a reading of 79. Homebuilder confidence in buyer traffic levels in new housing developments rose one point to 58; index readings over 50 for buyer traffic are unusual.

NAHB reported mixed readings for homebuilder sentiment regionally. Builder confidence in market conditions in the Western region rose four points; builder confidence in the Northeastern region rose three points and builder confidence readings for the South were unchanged. Builder confidence in housing market conditions in the Midwest fell seven points.

Factors contributing to high builder confidence in housing markets include high demand for homes and a potential easing of materials prices due to recent trade agreements. Builders continue to battle high materials and labor costs that reduce their profit margins. Analysts note that narrower profit margins contribute to builders’ongoing focus on building high-end homes.

Mortgage Rates Rise; New Jobless Claims Fall

Average mortgage rates rose incrementally last week; Freddie Mac reported a one basis point gain for 30-year-fixed-rate mortgages to 3.65 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.09 percent and were two basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.39 percent and were nine basis points higher.

New jobless claims were lower than expected with 204,000 initial claims filed. Analysts expected 220,000 new claims and 214,000 new claims were filed the prior week. Initial jobless claims fell for the fifth consecutive week, which indicates a strong labor market.

The University of Michigan reported a lower index reading for its Consumer Sentiment Index in January. The monthly reading fell to 99.1 from December’s reading of 99.3; the projected reading for January was 99.6. The Consumer Sentiment Index reflects consumers’ attitudes toward their personal finances along with their views of overall business and buying conditions.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include sales of previously-owned homes and the Chicago Fed’sNational Index report; weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

Is A 15 Or 30 Year Mortgage Right For You?

January 14, 2020

Is A 15 Or 30 Year Mortgage Right For YouWhen someone is looking to purchase a house, they need to think about how long they want their mortgage to last. While a bank can structure a mortgage to last for any number of years, the most common lengths are 15 and 30 years. While a 30-year mortgage is typically more affordable, a 15-year mortgage is cheaper overall. 

When someone is trying to decide how long they want their mortgage to last, there are a few important tips to keep in mind.

The Benefits Of A 15-Year Mortgage

There are a few important benefits that everyone should know about a 15-year mortgage. Some of the biggest benefits include:

  • With a 15-year mortgage, people are going to pay off their home more quickly. This will free up cash to spend in other places. Those who are looking to retire without a mortgage may want to go with a 15-year mortgage. 
  • Next, a 15-year mortgage is going to come with a lower interest rate. Because the bank is going to get their money back more quickly, they are going to reward the borrower with a lower interest rate. Overall, the bank is taking on less risk.
  • Finally, a 15-year mortgage is also going to be cheaper overall. With a lower interest rate and a loan that is paid off more quickly, the bank is going to take less of someone’s money over the life of the loan. 

The Benefits Of A 30-Year Mortgage

A 30-year mortgage has some notable differences when compared to a 15-year mortgage. There are a few important benefits that people need to remember. These include:

  • The monthly payments are going to lower. Those who are planning on paying for their children’s college education, or who envision a car payment in the near future, may want to have extra cash on hand to fund them.
  • As someone pays off their mortgage the interest paid on the loan is tax-deductible. Since more interest is paid on a 30-year mortgage, there will be greater tax savings as well. This means that people will get some of their money back.
  • Finally, a 30-year mortgage is also more flexible. During the loan, people may elect to make extra payments. This allows someone to pay off their home more quickly.

These are a few of the most important points people need to remember when trying to decide between a 15-year and 30-year mortgage.  As always, call your trusted home mortgage loan professional to discuss the options available for your personal situation.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 13th, 2020

January 13, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 13th, 2020Last week’s economic reports included readings on public and private sector jobs, the national unemployment rate and weekly readings on mortgage rates and new unemployment claims.

ADP: Private-Sector Job Growth Eases in December

Private-sector jobs increased by 202,000 jobs in December and exceeded expectations. November’s original reading of 60,000 new private-sector jobs was revised to 124,000 jobs.

Three and six-month average private-sector job growth rates were 159,000 and 151,000 jobs, but these growth rates fell short of 2018’s average monthly job growth rate of 218,000 jobs added.

Analysts said that private-sector job growth has settled into a more modest but steady pattern.

Non-Farm Payrolls: Public and Private-Sector Job Growth Slower in December

The Commerce Department reported 145,000 public and private-sector jobs added in December with 145,000 new jobs reported. Analysts expected 165,000 new jobs added, which was markedly less than 256,000 new jobs added in November.

Reduction in new jobs during December was likely due to slowing in holiday hiring and winter weather. Average hourly earnings for December rose by 0.10 percent and were lower than expectations of  0.30 percent growth. Slower wage growth contributed to predictions of slowing economic growth.

The national unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.50 percent in December.

Mortgage Rates, Weekly Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates last week; the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell eight basis points to 3.64 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged nine basis points lower at 3.07 percent.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 13 basis points lower at 3.30 percent. Discount points for fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.70 percent and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

Freddie Mac predicted that rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will average 3.80 percent in 2020 as compared to 4.00 percent in 2019.

Weekly jobless claims fell to 214,000 new claims; analysts expected 219,000 new claims filed. 223,000 first-time claims were filed the prior week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions. Commerce Department readings on housing starts and inflation will also be released. The University of Michigan will post data on consumer sentiment; weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will be posted as scheduled.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 6th, 2020

January 6, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 6th, 2020Last week’s economic reports included readings from Case-Schiller Home Price Indices and National Association of  Realtors® data on pending home sales. The Conference Board of the U.S. Senate also released its Consumer Confidence Index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller Reports 0.10 Percent Uptick in National  Home Price Index

The National Home Price Index issued by Case-Shiller for October reported a year-over-year increase of 3.20 percent in home prices. Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index reflected the influence of low inventories of affordable homes as pricey metro areas reported slower growth if not declines in home-price growth.

 The top three cities reporting highest year-over-year home prices were Phoenix, Arizona with5.80 percent growth; Tampa, Florida with 4.90 percent growth and Charlotte, North Carolina, which had 4.80 percent home price growth.

Analysts said that the shift in higher home-price growth rates to smaller eastern and southern metro areas was evidence of continued shortages of affordable homes in coastal and major metro areas. Home prices in San Francisco, California declined for the third consecutive month in October after posting double-digit home price growth in recent years.

Pending home sales,  which are sales for which purchase offers have been made but not completed, rose 1.20 percent in November as compared to October. Regionally, pending home sales reports were mixed. The Western region led with a 5.50 percent growth rate in pending home sales. Pending home sales were 1.00 percent higher in the Midwest and fell by -0.10 percent in the Northeast. Pending home sales fell by 0.20 percent in the  South. 

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®, said that “The supply of available homes is not yet meeting healthy demand.” Real estate pros consider pending home sales a gauge of future closings.  

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Dip

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week; 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.72 percent and were two basis points lower. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by three basis points and averaged 3.16 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages was one basis point higher at 3.46 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell by 2000 claims to 222,000 claims filed last week; analysts expected a reading of 223,000 initial jobless claims filed. The U.S. Conference Board reported a lower consumer confidence reading of 126.50 in December, but this was caused by an upwardly-revised November index reading of 126.80.

Consumer confidence in current economic conditions rose 4.40 points to 170.00 points, but this momentum was offset by the reading for consumer confidence in economic conditions over the next six months from 100.30 points to 97.40 points. Analysts said that flagging consumer confidence indicated that the economy is not likely to grow significantly in the next six months.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes labor sector readings on private and public job growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 30th, 2019

December 30, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 30th, 2019Last week’s economic reports were limited due to the Christmas holiday. New home sales data was released along with a weekly reading on mortgage rates.

Census Bureau: New Home Sales Hit Highest Level Since 1999

Mortgage rates below 4.00 percent propelled the highest number of new homes sold since 1999. 719,000 new homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis in November.

Analysts expected November sales of new homes to reach 740,000 sales based on October’s original reading of 733,000 sales, but this reading was later revised to 710,000 sales.

New home sales reported are based on a narrow range of data and subject to major revisions. Slim inventories of previously-owned homes for sale also boosted new home sales.

The national median sale price for new homes was $330,800 in November and there was a 5.40 month supply of new homes available, which fell below the peak of a seven-month supply of available new homes reported in December 2018.

The Northeast region reported a 52.40 percent increase in new home sales; Sales of new homes in the South decreased by 4.10 percent and were unchanged in the Midwest. New home sales in the West rose by 7.50 percent.

Mortgage Rates Little Changed

Freddie Mac reported incremental changes in average mortgage rates; 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 3.74 percent and were one basis point higher than for the prior week. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.19 percent and were unchanged.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was eight basis points higher at 3.45 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Freddie Mac cautioned that the ongoing shortage of affordable homes is causing home prices to rise throughout the U.S; in recent years significant home price gains primarily occurred in coastal regions. Analysts said that as fewer affordable homes become available, housing markets and the general economy could be negatively affected.

Weekly reporting on first-time jobless claims was not released last week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings from Case-Shiller on home prices, pending home sales, construction spending and weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 16th, 2019

December 16, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 16th, 2019Last week’s economic reports included readings on inflation and retail sales; the Federal Reserve released its post-meeting statement from its Federal Open Market Committee. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation, Retail Sales Rate Dip in November

The Commerce Department’s Consumer Price Index dipped in November to a growth rate of 0.20 percent as compared to October’s growth rate of 0.40 percent. Analysts expected inflation to slow to 0.20 percent growth.

Year-over-year inflation rose to 2.10 percent, which was its highest reading in a year. Analysts said rising rents, energy and healthcare costs caused the higher consumer inflation reading. November’s Core Consumer Price Index was unchanged at 0.20 percent growth. The Core CPI reading excludes volatile food and energy sectors.

Retails sales growth slowed to 0.20 percent in November as compared to October’s growth rate of 0.40 percent and expected growth of 0.50 percent. Retail sales exclusive of autos were also lower in November with a reading of 0.10 percent growth.

Analysts expected a reading of 0.40 percent growth; October’s reading for Retail Sales Excluding Autos showed 0.30 percent growth. Lower retail sales at the start of the winter holiday shopping season could signify cooling consumer confidence in the economy.

Fed Holds Steady on Key Interest Rate Range

The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve announced no change to the target federal funds rate range at its meeting on Wednesday. The target range for the federal funds rate remained at 1.50 to 1.75 percent.

The Committee’s post-meeting statement suggested that FOMC members did not plan to change the federal funds rate in 2020 if economic conditions remain stable, but said that monetary policy decisions were flexible and could change as global and domestic economic conditions require.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average rates for fixed-rate mortgages last week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was five basis points higher at 3.73 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged five basis points higher at 3.19  percent.

The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage was three basis points lower at 3.36 percent. Discount points rose across the board last week and averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims jumped to 252,000 last week, which surpassed expectations of 220,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 203,000 first-time claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include the National Association of Home Builders’Housing Market Index and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. The National Association of Realtors® will release data on sales of pre-owned homes and weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.