There were some nervous moments for our mortgage rates on their journey up Mount Ratemore this week, but for the most part, they held strong to their position on the upward climb.
While 30-year-fixed, the most experienced rate of the bunch, held its place as leader of the pack, 15-year fixed and the 5- and 1-year ARM brothers slipped slightly down the hill. Not enough to lose traction, though. The weather conditions had taken them by surprise and the footing wasn’t as strong as they had predicted.
Meanwhile, in the real world, we’re trying to convince mortgage rates that they really don’t need to climb any further, that things are just fine where they are, only dummies climb Mount Ratemore. However, if you remember what I said last week, those rates are still way near the base of Mount Ratemore. There’s still plenty of opportunity to refinance or buy a home while rates are still extremely low. Waiting doesn’t make sense.
So, let’s take a look where those numbers are, shall we?
30-year fixed-rate mortgages hung on at 3.53% with an average of .08 points. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.87%.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages slipped slightly to 2.77% with an average of 0.7 points, down from last week when it averaged 2.81%. Last year, the 15-year rate averaged 2.83%.
ARMs also slipped slightly from last week. The 5-year ARM fell to 2.63% with an average 0.6 points from last week’s 2.70%. And the 1-year ARM was 2.53% this week with an average 0.4 points, down from last week’s 2.59%. A year ago the 5-year ARM and the 1-year ARM averaged 2.83% and 2.78%, respectively.
And now, a word from our friend Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac:
“Mortgage rates were either unchanged or lower this week following a mostly positive employment data report for January. In January, the economy gained 157,000 new jobs and revisions to November and December added another 127,000 workers. On top of that, the annual benchmark update showed payrolls grew by an additional 424,000 jobs between April 2011 and March 2012. The only downside to the report was that the unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 to 7.9 percent in January, which is still historically high.”