Av­er­age 30-year mort­gage rate tops 4%

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON — Long-term U.S. mort­gage rates rose this week for the sec­ond straight week. The bench­mark 30-year rate sur­passed the 4 per­cent level for the first time since May.

Mort­gage buyer Fred­die Mac said Thurs­day that the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mort­gages in­creased to an av­er­age 4.03 per­cent from 3.96 per­cent last week. It stood at 3.42 per­cent a year ago and av­er­aged a record low 3.65 per­cent in 2016.

The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, pop­u­lar with home­own­ers who are re­fi­nanc­ing their mort­gages, rose to 3.29 per­cent last week from 3.22 per­cent.

Mort­gage rates still re­main his­tor­i­cally low, even though the Fed­eral Re­serve has be­gun to ratchet up short-term in­ter­est rates. In tes­ti­mony to Congress this week, Fed Chair­man Janet Yellen raised the pos­si­bil­ity that the Fed would con­sider slow­ing the pace of its in­ter­est rate in­creases if in­fla­tion re­mained per­sis­tently be­low its tar­get level.

To cal­cu­late av­er­age mort­gage rates, Fred­die Mac, the Fed­eral Home Loan Mort­gage Corp., sur­veys lenders across the coun­try be­tween Mon­day and Wed­nes­day each week. The av­er­age doesn’t in­clude ex­tra fees, known as points, which most bor­row­ers must pay to get the low­est rates. One point equals 1 per­cent of the loan amount.

The av­er­age fee for a 30-year mort­gage fell to 0.5 point from 0.6 point last week. The fee on 15-year loans was un­changed at 0.5 point.

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