Mortgages ratchet up, and so does anxiety

By Polyana da Costa •

Mortgage rates ticked up this week amid better-than-expected U.S. economic data and investors’ anxiety over when the Federal Reserve will trim its stimulus program.

30 year fixed rate mortgage – 3 month trend

30 year fixed rate mortgage – 3 month trend

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.59 percent from 4.54 percent last week, according to the national survey of large lenders. The mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.31 discount and origination points. One year ago, that rate stood at 3.77 percent. Four weeks ago, it was 4.48 percent.

The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.65 percent this week, compared to 3.61 percent last week, and the benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.57 percent from 3.54 percent. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate jumbo rate rose to 4.73 percent from 4.69 percent.

Weekly national mortgage survey

Results of’s July 31, 2013, weekly national survey of large lenders and the effect on monthly payments for a $165,000 loan:
30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5-year ARM
This week’s rate: 4.59% 3.65% 3.57%
Change from last week: +0.05 +0.04 +0.03
Monthly payment: $844.88 $1,191.75 $747.39
Change from last week: +$4.92 +$3.26 +$2.78


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Mortgage rates had been flat most of the week until Wednesday morning, when payroll processor ADP released its monthly employment survey showing that businesses added 200,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected ADP to report about 180,000 jobs.

“I’m glad they didn’t spike more,” Michael Becker, a mortgage banker at WCS Funding in Baltimore, says of the latest rate movement.

A more closely watched employment report will be released Friday by the Department of Labor. If that report shows the economy is growing at a stronger pace than economists had expected, rates could increase again.

Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics at IHS Global Insight, forecasts that Friday’s report will show a gain of 180,000 jobs, which is close to consensus forecasts.


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