Average mortgage rates up, but won't affect home purchase season

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Mortgage rates moved up slightly after weeks of moderating, but are still low enough not to affect the upcoming prime home buying period, according to Freddie Mac.

30-Year FRM 15-Year FRM 5/1-Year ARM
Average Rates 4.46% 3.89% 3.96%
Fees & Points 0.5 0.4 0.3
Margin N/A N/A 2.75

"Purchase applications were down this week after soaring early in the year. However, softening house price appreciation along with increasing inventory of homes on the market — and historically low mortgage rates — should give a boost to the spring home buying season," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a press release.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.46% for the week ending Jan. 31, up from last week when it averaged 4.45%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.22%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week averaged 3.89%, up from last week when it averaged 3.88%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.68%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.96% with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.9%. A year ago at this time, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.53%.

Mortgage rates are likely to be more volatile than they've been in recent weeks.

"Rates jumped around somewhat over the past week — dipping after soft housing and consumer confidence data, and climbing after a strong private payrolls report,” Aaron Terrazas, Zillow's senior economist, said in a press release.

"But bigger moves are on the horizon. As often occurs when Federal Open Market Committee statements catch markets off guard, bond yields fell after the FOMC announced its inclination to pause future rate hikes. Mortgage rates seem certain to follow in step. The next major data event on the horizon is Friday's jobs report and, after weeks of relative calm, markets are poised for increased volatility."

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