Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, said increasing consumer confidence and rising housing prices contributed to the increase.
“The pending home sales index inched up 0.2 percent in November, after five consecutive months of decline,” Nothaft said. “The Conference Board reported that confidence among consumers rose in December and the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite house price index rose 13.6 percent over the 12-months ending in October 2013.”
Average interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were at 4.53% for the week ending Thursday, up from 4.48% the previous week. A year ago at this time, the average rate for a 30-year FRM was 3.34%.
The average rate for a 15-year FRM rose to 3.55% this week from last week’s 3.52%. A year ago, the average rate for the 15-year FRM was 2.64%.
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage was also up, reaching 3.05% this week after topping out at 3.52% last week. The average rate for the 5-year ARM a year ago was 2.71%.
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM, meanwhile, remained unchanged from last week at 2.56%.
Mortgage rates started the year higher on indications of continued economic recovery, according to data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.