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Freddie Mac: Residential financing rates reach monthly high

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2015 at 7:48:57 AM

Residential financing rates have tied a high last seen in early March, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and the 15-year FRM both increasing on a week-over-week basis.

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.80 percent for the seven-day period ending May 7, while the 15-year FRM averaged 3.02 percent during that time. Last week, the averages were 3.68 percent and 2.94 percent, respectively.

"Mortgage rates rose this week to the highest level since the week of March 12 as a selloff in German bunds helped drive U.S. Treasury yields above 2.2 percent," explained Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. "The U.S. trade deficit reached $51.4 billion in March to the highest level since 2008. Also, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index was unchanged in April, but manufacturing employment contracted as the index fell below 50 for the first time since May 2013."

In addition, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that residential financing applications slipped by 4.6 percent for the week ending May 1. The Refinance Index also fell by 8 percent on a weekly basis, while the refinance share of total mortgage activity fell to 53 percent from 55 percent.