Mortgage Rates Continue Post-Election Climb

Mortgage rates moved higher for the seventh consecutive week, a sign that the markets are still in flux after the presidential election, Freddie Mac said.

This week’s survey data was compiled before the Federal Open Markets Committee announcement on Wednesday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.16% for the week ending Dec. 15, up from last week when it averaged 4.13%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97%.

“The MBA’s Applications Survey posted drops in both refinance and purchase applications, registering the impact of recent mortgage rate increases. If rates continue their upward trend, expect mortgage activity to be significantly subdued in 2017,” said Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

After the FOMC announcement, the Mortgage Bankers Association cut its first-quarter loan origination forecast by 3.5% from its November estimate, reducing its projections for both purchase and refinance volume.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.37%, up from last week when it averaged 3.36%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year averaged 3.22%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.19%, up from last week when it averaged 3.17%, while a year ago it averaged 3.03%.

“As was almost-universally expected, the FOMC closed the year with its one-and-only rate hike of 2016. The consensus of the committee points to more rate hikes in 2017. However, the experience of this year combined with the policy uncertainty that accompanies a new administration suggests a wait-and-see outlook,” Becketti added.