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Positive economic data drives up mortgage rates

Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 10:16:41 AM

Residential financing rates ticked up slightly for the week ending Dec. 5, based on new information from Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

This change comes on the heels of strong economic data, with job growth leading the surge across the U.S. An additional boost from new home sales resulted in mortgage rates coming in higher than last week.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.46 percent, compared to last week's 4.29 percent. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.47 percent, up from 3.30 percent. During this time last year, those rates averaged 3.34 percent and 2.67 percent, respectively.

"Fixed mortgage rates increased this week following stronger than expected economic data releases," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "Private companies added 215,000 new jobs in November according to the ADP employment report, well above the consensus."

Mortgage information site HSH.com attributed the higher residential financing rates to strong reports about unemployment data, manufacturing health and auto sales. In addition, the release of more data, such as the monthly employment report, could result in next week's figure also being slightly higher.