Mortgage rates increased in the latest week, with the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages edging closer to 5%, though it remained lower than a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates.
Mortgage rates generally track U.S. bond yields, which move inversely to Treasury prices. Rates climbed earlier this year, hitting the highest point since April last month after slumping most of last year as Treasurys declined amid economic uncertainty. Rates fell last week as investors, wary of the then worsening crisis in Japan, sought U.S. bonds.
Freddie Chief Economist Frank Nothaft noted that the rate uptick was “related to higher than anticipated inflation data for February and ongoing geopolitical concerns.”
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81% in the week ended Thursday, up from the prior week’s 4.76% average but down from 4.99% a year earlier. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.04%, up from 3.97% in the previous week but down from 4.34% a year earlier.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.62%, up from the prior week’s 3.57% but down from 4.14% a year earlier. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs were 3.21%, up from 3.17% but down from 4.2%, respectively.
To obtain the rates, the fixed-rate mortgages required payment of an average 0.7 point and the others required an average 0.6 point. A mortgage point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.