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Mortgage rates edge up amid uncertain housing data

Posted on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 10:15:28 AM

Prior to the holiday season getting underway, homebuyers had plenty to be thankful for. Residential financing rates are still near historic lows, and better sales data indicated a stronger real estate market.

However, some figures were mixed, according to Freddie Mac. In its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, this information - such as pending sales and price gains - was attributed to the slight uptick in mortgage rates.

For the week ending Nov. 27, the 30-year fixed-rate hit 4.29 percent, up from last week's 4.22 percent. In addition, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.30 percent, up from 3.27 percent.

"Fixed mortgage rates retraced some of their decline of the prior week as housing data portrayed mixed signals," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "The National Association of Realtors reported that their pending sales metric dipped for the fifth consecutive month and was slightly below year-ago levels, presaging a softening in sales near yearend."

Moreover, the U.S. housing market received some good news. Buyers interested in affordable residential financing might have more real estate options soon, as new construction is on the rise.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, construction spending increased 0.8 percent during October month-over-month. This figure is also more than 5 percent higher than the same time last year, which means more homes are being made.