Average Fixed Rates Inch Back Up Again

Fixed mortgage rates inched back up on average in Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, following a slight drop the previous week.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed four basis points to 3.41% while the average for a 15-year FRM was six basis points higher at 2.72%.

All rates are averaged over the week ending Oct. 25.

Shorter-term rates during that period were stable to slightly lower.

The average rate for a five-year Treasury indexed hybrid remained at 2.75% while the average rate for a one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage slipped by one basis point to 2.59%.

Average points were 0.4 of a point for one-year Treasury ARMs, 0.6 of a point for five-year hybrids and 15-year FRMs, and 0.7 of a point for 30-year FRMs.

Freddie Mac chief economist and vice president Frank Nothaft said in his weekly report that signs of relatively strengthening of the weak housing market, including the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest statement, affected rates in the past week.

He said rates are still at a level where they “should continue support the housing market and mortgage refinance.”

A year ago, the 30-year rate was 4.1%, the 15-year rate was 3.38%, the five-year Treasury hybrid rate was 3.08% and the one-year Treasury ARM rate was 2.9%.

Although economic indicators have moved them a little higher, fixed mortgage rates are currently artificially lower than they might otherwise be due to the Fed’s third round of quantitative easing, which counteracts downward pressure on them to some degree.

The long-term rate-indicative 10-year Treasury at press time Thursday morning was above 1.8%. It had been as low as about 1.75% during the course of the week.