Mortgage Rates Rise for First Time in 2017


Mortgage interest rates increased for the first time in 2017, ending a run of three weeks where they were down, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.19% for the week ending Jan. 26, up from last week when it averaged 4.09%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.79%, 40 basis points lower than where they are now.

“The 10-year Treasury yield increased more than 10 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved up as well. This week marks the first increase in the mortgage rate since Dec. 29,” said Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.4%, up from last week when it averaged 3.34%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year averaged 3.07%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.2%, down from last week when it averaged 3.21%, while a year ago it averaged 2.9%.

Increasing interest rates should not have a negative effect on home prices.

“The 2.8% decline in existing home sales in December is a reminder of the lack of homes for sale. According to the National Association of Realtors, supply is at its lowest level since 1999, a factor that should support higher house prices regardless of the oscillations of the mortgage rate,” Becketti added.

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