Mortgage Rates Inch Upward

In a surprising twist of events today, mortgage rates ticked up a little bit from last week’s record lows.

After dropping consistently for five straight weeks, the nationwide average for mortgage rates decided to change their course and head due north, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Even though it would have been nice for them to drop again and set another record low, let’s be real for a second, can mortgage rates get any lower than they already are?

Personally speaking, I’m not quite sure it’s even possible, but what do I know?

Let’s take a look at this week’s numbers.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped up from last week’s record low of 3.36% with 0.6 points to 3.39% with 0.7 points this week. Don’t fret – this is still the second lowest national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ever. Last year at this time, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.12%.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages also moved upward, climbing from 2.69% with 0.5 points last week to 2.70% with 0.6 points this week. I know I’ve said it once before, and I’ll say it again, but it seems to me that the average for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages has settled nicely below the 3.00% line. A year ago, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.37%.

5/1-year ARMs jumped to 2.73% with 0.6 points this week from last week’s 2.72% with 0.6 points, while 1-year ARMs increased to 2.59% with 0.4 points from last week’s 2.57% with 0.4 points.

Last year at this time, 5/1-year ARMs and 1-year ARMs averaged 3.06% and 2.90%, respectively.

I’ve learned a lot about Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist from Freddie Mac, since I’ve been analyzing the PMMS report, and I do know that he’s never at a loss for words. His market analysis is always spot on and, for lack of a better term, lengthy.

This week, he explained, “Mortgage rates were little changed this holiday week following the employment report for September. Payroll employment increased by 114,000 workers, although manufacturing jobs dipped for the second month in a row. Employment in the prior two months was revised up 86,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, marking the lowest rate since January 2009.”

One thing is certain: The direction in which mortgage rates are heading is uncertain.

If you’re thinking about refinancing your current mortgage or locking into a new rate, don’t sit around and wait for mortgage rates to drop again.

Today is the day to make the call that could change your life.

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