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Rising Rates Forecasted to Hold

Rising Rates Forecasted to Hold

Average 30-year 6.22%

April 12, 2007


photo of Coco Salazar
As stronger-than-expected job growth pushed rates up again, mortgage demand was stagnant.

Up 5 basis points from a week ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.22% this week, Freddie Mac said its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed. A year earlier, the 30-year averaged 6.49%.

The 15-year rose 3 BPS from last week to 5.90%, Freddie said.

The spread between the 30-year and 15-year reportedly was 0.32%, 3 BPS narrower than a year ago.

The 10-year Treasury note yield closed at 4.73% today, worse than 4.67% a week ago.

“Interest rates in general ticked up following the release of the March employment data, which showed stronger job growth than what the market expected,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie chief economist, in a written statement.

Over the next 35 to 45 days, rates will rise, according to 55 of the 100 mortgage “expert” panelists surveyed by this week. A little more than a quarter forecast rates will remain relatively unchanged and the rest predicted they’ll fall.

However, Freddie’s latest forecast showed the 30-year will average 6.2% throughout next quarter until moving up to 6.3% in the last three-month period of the year — 10 BPS lower than Freddie previously estimated for yearend.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.93%, nudging up 1 BPS over the past seven days, Freddie said.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs reportedly averaged 5.47%, or 3 BPS higher than last week. The 1-year T-bill itself was at 4.97% Wednesday, 5 BPS above a week earlier, according to the Federal Reserve.

The ARM share was unchanged at 19%, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported on Wednesday.

Overall mortgage application volume was unchanged from the previous week, as a 3 percent upturn in purchase money demand was offset by a 4 percent downturn in refinance requests, according to MBA.

Accordingly, the refinance share of mortgage activity declined to 43% from 45% the prior week, the trade group said.

Nonetheless, “mortgage refinancing still remains strong,” as it has stayed above 40 percent since last August, Freddie’s Nothaft said. “Among those borrowers who are choosing to refinance now, a large share are doing so to avoid an adjustment to their monthly payment as the initial period on their adjustable-rate loan expires or to extract equity through a cash-out refi.”

Coco Salazar is an associate editor and staff writer for

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