Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates rise on job report; 30-year averages 3.86%

Strong report on jobs means higher mortgage rates: Freddie Mac pegs conventional 30-year loans at 3.86%

Mortgage rates jumped this week following a strong jobs report, with Freddie Mac reporting that lenders were offering conventional 30-year home loans at an average of 3.86%, up from 3.75% a week ago,

The increase brings rates back to about where they started the year, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist Len Keifer said Thursday as the home finance giant released its weekly report.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged below 4% since the week ending Nov. 13. The low for 2015, 3.59%, was recorded in early February.

Freddie Mac said the average rate for a 15-year mortgage rose to 3.1% this week from 3.03% a week ago. The start rates for adjustable loans rose as well.

The strong report on unemployment bolstered the view of many investors that the Federal Reserve would act to raise interest rates as early as June. 

The once red-hot housing market has slowed despite the low rates, with many potential buyers saying there are too few homes on the market that they can afford.

The Mortgage Bankers Assn. sounded a positive note on housing Thursday, saying mortgage applications to buy new homes were up in January and February compared with last year.

Freddie Mac asks lenders early each week about the terms they are offering to solid borrowers seeking mortgages of up to $417,000 that conform to the guidelines of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the nation's major mortgage-financing companies.

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 rates. 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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