Mortgage Rates Inch Up, But Don’t Be Worried

After weeks of moderating, mortgage rates moved up slightly this week. But aspiring home buyers may be able to breathe a sigh of relief: Freddie Mac economists revised their forecasts this week to predict 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to average below the 5 percent threshold for at least the next two years.

Fed Puts Brakes on Rate Increases

That will bode well for the housing market, which has become very rate sensitive. With mortgage rates slightly up this week, purchase applications for mortgages fell this week after soaring early this year, notes Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“However, softening house price appreciation along with increasing inventory of homes on the market—and historically low mortgage rates—should give a boost to the spring homebuying season,” Khater says.

The following are the national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 31:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.46 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.45 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.22 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.89 percent, with an average 0.4 point, increasing from last week’s 3.88 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.68 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.96 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.90 percent average. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.53 percent.