Mortgage rates stay flat due to mixed economic news

Mortgage rates remained unchanged this week, after moving back and forth during the period on economic and trade news, according to Freddie Mac.

30-Year FRM 15-Year FRM 5/1-Year ARM
Average Rates 3.68% 3.14% 3.39%
Fees & Points 0.5 0.4 0.4
Margin N/A N/A 2.75

"This week the economy sent mixed signals, leaving mortgage rates unchanged," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a press release. “Survey data for manufacturing and service industries varied while construction spending fell modestly. However, homebuyer demand continued to improve, rising 8%. Clearly homebuyers remain bullish on the real estate market."

U.S.-China trade tensions also drove the up-and-down rate movements over the past week, according to Zillow economist Matthew Speakman when that company released its own rate tracker.

"Promising manufacturing data from China and the eurozone provided some optimism on Monday, pushing bond yields higher despite disappointing news from the U.S. manufacturing sector released that same day," Speakman said. "But just a day later, comments suggesting a trade deal may not be struck until well into next year sent bond yields falling quickly and pushed mortgage rates to their lowest levels since early October."

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.68% for the week ending Dec. 5, according to Freddie Mac, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.75%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.14%, down slightly from last week when it averaged 3.15%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.21%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.39%, down from last week when it averaged 3.43%. A year ago at this time, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.07%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistic's employment report, due out on Dec. 6, is the next economic development outside of trade that could affect mortgage rate movements.

"Ongoing uncertainty surrounding the trade deal is helping keep rates near long-term lows and limiting their potential for upward movement," Speakman said. "Looking ahead, trade-related developments will likely remain in the spotlight, but markets will also be paying close attention to Friday's all-important November jobs report."

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