Average mortgage rates fell in one survey but rose in another as the mortgage market began the new year on a mixed note.
Freddie Mac reports the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.34 percent in the first three days of this week. That's down from 3.35 percent a year earlier.
The 15-year FRM was 2.64 percent in the Freddie Mac Market Survey, down from 2.65 percent in the previous week. Borrowers would have paid 0.7 percent in upfront lender fees and discount points to get those rates.
“New home sales rose in November to a two-year high and were up 15.3 percent from the previous November,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft. “Similarly, pending sales on existing homes increased for the third month in November to the strongest pace since April 2010.”
While the Freddie Mac survey showed a continuation of end-of-the-year drops in mortgage rates, the first survey of 2013 from Bankrate.com shows an uptick in the 15 year rate. The 30-year FRM mortgage, however, continued its downward trend.
The survey shows the 30-year FRM fell slightly to 3.58 percent, dropping from 3.59 percent in the previous survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.35 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year FRM nosed higher to 2.88 percent and the larger jumbo 30-year mortgage was also a touch higher to 4.08 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were lower, with the popular 3-year ARM declining to 2.93 percent and the 7-year ARM pulling back to 2.92 percent.
“Relief that the fiscal cliff has been averted will likely send mortgage rates higher in the next week or so, but don't take this as the beginning of a long-standing trend,” Bankrate said in a statement. “We still have a slow growth economy with high unemployment, and the debt ceiling negotiations will get started soon and are sure to be contentious.”
The contentiousness, the financial website predicts, will probably bring mortgage rates back down.