After establishing new record lows for several weeks near the beginning of the year, average mortgage rates posted their third straight increase during the past week according to the results of Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) had an average rate of 5.25 percent with 0.8 point during the week ended February 5. In comparison, a week earlier the rate was 5.10 percent with 0.7 point.
The 15-year FRM carried an average contract interest rate of 4.92 percent, 12 basis points higher than the week ended January 29. Fees and points also increased from 0.7 to 0.8.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage moved in the opposite direction, declining from 5.27 percent to 5.25 percent. Fees and points remained at 0.6 point.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs were up slightly from 4.90 percent to 4.92 percent while fees and points declined from 0.6 to 0.5.
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist commented on the report saying, "Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages rose this week amid economic reports that were somewhat better than consensus forecasts had anticipated. The economy slowed by 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, less than the market consensus, with inflationary pressures held at bay. Meanwhile, personal incomes fell by only half as much as some market forecasters predicted.
Low mortgage rates and falling house prices have made housing the most affordable in 19 years. The National Association of Realtor's monthly affordability index rose to an all-time record high in December 2008 since records began in January 1971. As a result, pending existing home sales rose 6.3 percent in December 2008 and were up 2.1 percent from the previous December."
Earlier in the week Fannie Mae released average yields for the week ended January 30. Rates across the board were higher. Numbers do not include servicing fees.
The Fannie Mae conventional 30-year FRM had an average yield of 4.72 compared to 4.45 a week earlier. The 15-year conventional FRM averaged 4.30 percent. A week earlier the yield was 4.13.
Government guaranteed loans - FHA and VA - averaged 6.05 percent, a substantial increase from the 5.54 reported the previous week.
One-year ARMs had a yield of 4.70 percent, a jump of 42 basis points from the week before and more than a point and a half higher than the rate of 3.150 percent reported the same week in 2008.