30-year fixed mortgage rate rises above 5%

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage this week rose above 5% for the first time since Halloween.

The average 30-year rate was 5.05%, up from 4.94% last week, mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday. The last time the average rate was above 5% was Oct. 29, when it was at 5.03%.

The rise in rates came as yields on Treasury debt have surged in the face of declining investor demand. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, the benchmark for mortgage rates, was 3.8% on Thursday, up from 3.75% on Wednesday and well above its Nov. 30 level of 3.2%.

Mortgage rates, meanwhile, are up from the record low of 4.71% reached Dec. 3. Some analysts worry that the rise in rates could put the brakes on a housing rebound. Mortgage applications fell 12% last week.


Freddie Mac, however, said the rise in rates should be viewed in context. “Although interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are above 5% this week for the first time since the end of October, they are still around 0.5 percentage points below this year’s peak set in mid-June,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

And rates are still below year-ago levels. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.14%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45%, up from 4.38% last week. A year ago it averaged 4.91%.

The five-year, Treasury-indexed, hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.4%, up from 4.37% last week. A year ago it averaged 5.49%.

The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.38%, up from 4.34% last week. It averaged 4.95% a year ago.

The rates don’t include the extra fees known as points.