Increase in Average Mortgage Interest Rates Attributed to Jobs Growth & Consumer Spending

After remaining steady for the past several weeks, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey results for the week ending March 14th showed that the average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate reached 3.63% as opposed to last week’s average rate of 3.52%. Despite the increase, average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates were 3.92% the same time last year. The average 15-year fixed mortgage interest rate also increased in comparison to last week. At 2.79% this week, the 15-year fixed mortgage interest rate was greater than last week when it was 2.76%, but lower than the same time a year ago when the average was 3.16%.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, attributed the increases in average mortgage interest rates to jobs growth and consumer spending. Nothaft stated, “The economy added 236,000 new workers in February which helped push down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent. This helped offset the effects of the payroll tax holiday expiration and led to a 1.1 percent increase in retail sales, which was well above the market consensus forecast.”

To view this week’s average rates for the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) and 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM, go to http://bit.ly/XaWtLG

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