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Fixed Mortgage Rates Rise, But Could Retreat

Interest rates on home loans moved up this past week but could slide lower in the next report.

In the week ended Dec. 31, thirty-year fixed rates averaged 3.87 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30 year increased from the previous week, when it averaged 3.83 percent. But the average fell from 4.53 percent in the same week last year.

“The Conference Board reported that confidence among consumers rose in December,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft stated in the report, “and the S&P/Case-Shiller Seasonally-Adjusted National house price index rose 4.6 percent over the 12-months ending in October 2014.”

For the month of November, conforming 30-year fixed rates averaged 4.24 percent, down 8 BPS from October, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said.

Mortgage Daily’s analysis of Treasury market activity indicates that fixed rates could be around 4 basis points better in Freddie’s next survey.

But a majority of panelists surveyed by for the week Dec. 31 to Jan. 7 predicted that mortgage rates won’t change over the next week. Another third forecasted that rates will rise at least 3 BPS, and just 9 percent projected a decline.

Interest rates on jumbo loans were 12 BPS higher than on conforming loans in the U.S. Mortgage Market Index report from LoanSifter/Optimal Blue and Mortgage Daily for the week ended Dec. 26. The jumbo-conforming spread was wider than 7 BPS the prior week.

Fifteen-year fixed rates averaged 3.15 percent in Freddie’s survey, 5 BPS worse than in the prior report. The spread between 15- and 30-year rates narrowed to 72 BPS from 73 BPS in the week ended Dec. 24.

Freddie reported that five-year, Treasury-indexed, hybrid, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.01 percent, no different than seven days prior.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.40 percent, a basis point worse than a week earlier but down 16 BPS from the week ended Jan. 2, 2014.

The index for the one-year ARM, the yield on the one-year Treasury note, closed Wednesday at 0.25 percent, a basis point less than a week earlier.

A one-basis-point increase from seven days earlier was recorded for the six-month London Interbank Offered Rate, which reported at 0.36 percent as of Wednesday.

The latest Mortgage Market Index report had ARMs accounting for 9.8 percent of all activity. ARM share fell from 10.9 percent one week prior.

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