- 4.71% (30-year fixed)
- 0.36 (average points)
Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Dec. 1, 2010.
Mortgage products took a sharp leap upward this week, with the 15- and 30-year home loans rising significantly amid signs that the U.S. economic recovery may also be gathering strength.
The 30-year fixed rate mortgage shot up 13 basis points, to 4.71 percent, its highest level since last summer. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percent.
The story was much the same for 15-year fixed rate mortgages, although their ascent was not as steep, climbing 10 basis points to 4.07 percent.
The rises were more moderate for adjustable-rate mortgages. The popular 5/1 ARM rose 8 basis points, settling at 3.74 percent. With a 5/1 ARM, a mortgage has a fixed rate for the first five years, and is adjusted annually -- based on market conditions -- for the remainder of the loan's term.
It was the highest rate for 30-year mortgages since July. Bankrate's July 21 national survey found an average rate of 4.74 percent, after which home loans began a descent that lasted until early November and brought mortgages to record low rates.
Although it is difficult to establish a direct relationship -- and the housing market remains troubled by virtually every measure -- the strengthening of mortgage rates is occurring as the tepid economic recovery is also gaining momentum.
On Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management, which tracks manufacturing industries, said factory output has now risen for 16 months in a row. In addition, a Federal Reserve survey found that 10 of its 12 regions are seeing economic expansion, while the other two -- St. Louis and Philadelphia -- have mixed conditions.
The economic indicator most relevant to housing, however, is unemployment. The country will get an indication of whether the labor market is recovering on Friday, when the government releases figures for unemployment and job creation for the month of November.
Find out monthly mortgage payments using Bankrate's mortgage calculator.-- Gregg Fields