Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates rise; average for 30-year loan at 3.69%

Mortgage rates rise on stronger economic news

Mortgage rates rose this week on news of an improving economy, Freddie Mac said, with lenders offering conventional 30-year home loans at an average of 3.69% compared with 3.59% last week.

The average for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.99%, up from 2.92%, the home-finance giant said in its weekly report, issued on Thursday. The initial rates for adjustable home loans rose as well.

Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, said the increases reflected news that the economy has added more than 1 million new jobs over the last three months, with a rise in average wages.

Freddie Mac asks lenders early each week about the terms they are offering to solid borrowers seeking mortgages up to $417,000 that conform to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae guidelines.

The borrowers would have paid a little more than half of 1% of the loan balance in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain the fixed-rate loans. Payments for such services as appraisals and title insurance are not included. 

The survey provides a consistent gauge of mortgage trends, but actual rates adjust constantly and are influenced by many factors.

In addition to borrowers’ credit histories and debt loads, the factors include whether the borrowers opt for zero-cost loans at higher rates or pay extra to lenders initially to lower the rates.

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