Mortgage rates edged up for the fourth week in a row, as the home buying entered what is traditionally the busiest season for sales.
Thirty-year, fixed-rate home loans averaged 4.91 percent with an average 0.6 point this week, up from 4.87 percent a week ago, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. A year ago, 30-year, fixed mortgages averaged 5.07 percent and fell as low as 4.17 percent in early November.
The rates on 15-year, fixed-rate residential mortgages averaged 4.13 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from 4.10 percent a week ago. A year ago, 15-year, fixed home loans averaged 4.40percent and fell as low as 3.57 percent in early November.
Despite the increases in the 30-year rates, they have remained below 5 percent for two months, Freddie Mac said.
There were further signs this week that the economy may be on the mend, Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said.
Consumer purchases of retail goods rose for the ninth consecutive month in March, suggesting families have an increasing capacity to spend, Nothaft said.
“Reinforcing this notion, the Federal Reserve in its April 13th regional economic review that consumer spending picked up modestly in February and March across most Districts,” Nothaft said.
“In addition, it noted that economic activity generally continued to improve and that reports focusing on the near-term outlook were most often upbeat.”