Mortgage rates rise as the positive economic outlook picks up

by Candyd Mendoza02 Dec 2019

After hitting its lowest level the week prior, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) edged up two basis points last week due to improved economic outlook.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that the 30-year FRM moved up from 3.66% to 3.68%. Last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.81%.

Meanwhile, the 15-year FRM remained unchanged at 3.15% and is still more than a percentage point lower than the same time last year, when it averaged 4.25%.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also increased four basis points from 3.39% to an average of 3.43%. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM was 4.12%

“Following a decline in the first nine months of 2019, mortgage rates have traded narrower during the last two months with a modest drift upward due to an improved economic outlook,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “While there has been a lag in the housing market’s response to lower rates, real estate volumes have clearly shifted into a higher gear. Moreover, the recent improvement in the cyclical segments of the economy and easing financial conditions will provide a gentle tailwind to the real estate market rebound over the next few months.”