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Economic improvement sees recent rise in mortgage rates

Posted on Friday, March 29, 2013 at 3:17:23 PM

After repeated weeks of little change, national mortgage rate averages saw notable increases during the week ending March 27, but still afforded consumers additional opportunities to lock in residential financing. 

According to the most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) saw week-over-week rises, but are still well below their year-ago levels. A 30-year FRM averaged 3.57 percent, exhibiting a rise from its previous average of 3.54 percent. Meanwhile, average 15-year FRMs were recently noted at 2.76 percent, after registering at 2.72 percent the preceding week.

On a year-over-year basis, both products show considerable improvement. During the third week of March 2012, 30-year FRMs reportedly averaged 3.99 percent and 15-year FRMs were recorded at 3.23 percent .

"Low and relatively steady mortgage rates are invigorating the housing market," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

Along with yearly improvement in mortgage rate averages, increases in home prices was recently observed. The S&P/Case-Shiller Hope Price Index showed each city evaluated in its 20-City Composite during January saw annual gains, and 19 recorded acceleration in yearly returns.

On average, home prices for the 20 metropolitan areas reportedly appreciated more than 8 percent. Phoenix led the way, with year-over-year gain of over 23 percent.