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Rising Rates Headed Higher

Rising Rates Headed Higher30-year average 5.63%

June 16, 2005


Mortgage rates rose for the first time in a month — a bad sign for those cheering the record number of people recently looking to finance home purchases.

The average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage leapt to 5.63% from 5.56% a week ago, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released today.

Freddie chief economist Frank Nothaft noted that the increase in the 30-year average “wasn’t completely unexpected,” and that even so it is still below last year’s annual average and well below the 6.32% at this time last year.

However, it is expected to continue the upward path — the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest mortgage finance outlook has the 30-year averaging 5.8% next quarter and 6.0% by the end of the year.

This week,’s surveyed panel of mortgage “experts” was evenly split on whether rates would rise (40%) over the next 35 to 45 days or stay about the same (40%), while only one-fifth predicted rates would drop.

The 10-year Treasury note yielded 4.07% late Thursday with a price of 100.38, worse than 3.96% and 101.25 a week earlier.

Up by eight BPS, Freddie said the average for the 15-year came in at 5.22% this week.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage average jumped by the most — nine BPS within the past week to 5.10%.

The average 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.25%, edging up four BPS from last week, Freddie reported. The 1-year Treasury Bill index was 3.39% as of Tuesday, up 11 BPS from a week earlier, according to the latest Federal Reserve Statistical Release.

The share of ARM applications edged down to 31%, according to the MBAs latest Weekly Mortgage Application Survey, which runs one week behind Freddie’s.

Overall application activity rose 17% from the previous week — with applications for refinances soaring 26% to their highest level since April 2004 and purchase money 1003s climbing to a record high as reflected in the 10% increase in the Purchase Index to 529.3.

The refinance share of total applications increased to 46%, the trade association said.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for email: [email protected]

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