Average mortgage rates hold steady, ending three weeks of declines

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With few headlines to drive up or down movement in the bond markets, mortgage rates held steady after declining for three consecutive weeks, according to Freddie Mac.

30-Year FRM 15-Year ARM 5/1-Year ARM
Average Rates 4.35% 3.77% 3.84%
Fees & Points 0.5 0.5 0.3
Margin N/A N/A 2.76

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35% for the week ending Feb. 28, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.43%.

"Mortgage rates remained mostly unchanged this week, while mortgage applications rose 5.3% from the previous week. The general decline in rates we have seen recently, combined with rebounding pending home sales, hint at a strong spring home buying season," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a press release.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week averaged 3.77%, down from last week when it averaged 3.78%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.9%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.84% with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.62%.

Despite the abundance of economic, monetary policy and geopolitical headlines, "most of this news was within the market’s expectations and moved rates only modestly," said Zillow economic analyst Matt Speakman. "The clearest signal may have been offered by Wednesday's unexpectedly strong pending home sales release, a sign of improvement for the housing market, which has been a soft spot in the economy for the last several months.

"Looking ahead, all eyes are on Thursday's initial fourth quarter gross domestic product reading and Friday’s inflation data release, two key indicators Fed officials watch to evaluate the health of the U.S. economy," he said.

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