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New week brings continued rise in mortgage rates

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 10:09:43 AM

Another week, another rise in residential financing rates. Freddie Mac's recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey, for the week ending Feb. 27, indicated continued increases in this particular segment. 

Of note was the slight uptick for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, now averaging 4.33 percent, according to the government-sponsored enterprise. During the same time in 2013, that figure was only 3.51 percent. The 15-year FRM recently averaged 3.39 percent, up from 3.35 percent last week. On the other hand, both adjustable-rate variants saw slight decreases in rates.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, attributed the residential financing changes to new home sales, which were relatively strong, and higher average home prices across many major metropolitan markets.

In addition, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications decreased for the week ending Feb. 21. The Market Composite Index declined 8.5 percent from one week prior, and the Refinance Index dropped 11 percent during that time.

"Purchase applications were little changed on an unadjusted basis last week, but this is the time of a year we would expect a significant pickup in purchase activity, and we are not yet seeing it," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist.