The economy is brightening as 2014 arrives — but that could signal higher borrowing costs for homebuyers as the
Lenders were offering 30-year fixed-rate mortgages this week at an average of 4.53%, up from 4.48% last week and the highest since September,
The interest rate for a 15-year fixed loan averaged 3.55%, up from 3.52% last week. The start rate for adjustable loans fixed for the first five years was 3.05% compared to 3% a week ago, Freddie Mac said.
Freddie Mac, the government-supported issuer of bonds backed by mortgages, asks lenders about the terms they are offering to solid borrowers with at least 20% down payments or 20% home equity for those refinancing their loans. The borrowers would have paid less than 1% of the loan amount in lender fees and discount points to obtain the rates.
"Mortgage rates edged up to begin the year on signs of a stronger economic recovery," Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft said in a statement. An index of pending home sales turned positive in November after declining for five months, he noted, and consumer confidence rose in December.