Freddie Mac says stronger signs of jobs growth and consumer spending pushed the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) to its highest reading since the week of August 23, 2012.
According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year FRM rose 11 basis points in the the week ending March 14 -- to 3.63% with an average 0.8 point. Last year at this time, it 30-year FRM averaged 3.92%.
The 15-year FRM averaged 2.79% with an average 0.8 point. Last week it averaged 2.76% and a year ago it was 3.16%.
The average for the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 2.61% with an average 0.6 point, compared last week when it averaged 2.63%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.83%.
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64% with an average 0.4 point, little-changed from last week's average of 2.63 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.79 percent.
"Fixed mortgage rates rose this week on stronger signs of jobs growth and consumer spending,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “The economy added 236,000 new workers in February which helped push down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent. This helped offset the effects of the payroll tax holiday expiration and led to a 1.1 percent increase in retail sales, which was well above the market consensus forecast."
The weekly national survey conducted by Bankrate.com shows fixed mortgage rates jumped to a 7-month high following a report of robust job growth and encouraging economic data on business investment and retail sales.
The benchmark 30-year FRM jumping to 3.85% from 3.73% with an average of 0.35 discount and origination points. That's the highest rate since it was 3.91% on Aug. 22, 2012.
The last time mortgage rates were above 5% was Apr. 2011. At the time, the average 30-year FRM was 5.07%, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,082.22. With the average rate currently at 3.85%, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $937.62 -- a difference of $145 per month.
The average 15-year FRM climbed to 3.03% from 2.96% (avg. points: 0.35), as did the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage -- jumping to 4.18%. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the 3-year ARM slipping to 3.00%, the 5-year ARM rising to 2.82% and the 7-year ARM inching up to 2.99%.