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Mortgage rates stay flat last week, consumer confidence rises

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:25:46 PM

Americans looking to obtain residential lending and pursue the path to homeownership in the coming year may benefit from action soon, as mortgage rates failed to change from their previous levels during the week ending February 14 and consumer confidence increased slightly again. 

Freddie Mac's recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed-rate mortgages nationwide remained unchanged last week when compared to the first week of February. Average 30-year FRMs remained at 3.53 percent, while the average for 15-year FRMs stayed at 2.77 percent.

"Mortgage rates remain near record lows and continue to support housing demand, translating into a pick-up in home prices," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac. 

Though fixed-rate mortgages remained level, increases were seen for both five and one-year adjustable-rate mortgage options, offering additional proof economic conditions may be firming up following the financial crisis.

Another sign of possible improvement is the rising trend in consumer confidence. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reported Thursday that more Americans are feeling more comfortable, as sentiment increased to minus-35.9 for the week ending February 10 from minus-36.3 in early February. The figures mean more consumers are reporting heightened confidence, although the majority continue to maintain low confidence levels.

For potential homeowners looking to lock in residential financing or an FHA loan, the best time to do so may be right now.