mortgage

Mortgage rates for Dec. 20, 2012

 

I'm Greg McBride with Bankrate.com and here is your weekly look at mortgage rates.

Mortgage rates posted the biggest one week increase since March, with the benchmark 30-year fixed rate mortgage jumping from 3.52 percent to a two-month high of 3.62 percent.

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage was up more modestly, rising to 2.89 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed back over the 4 percent threshold to 4.07 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly higher, with the 3-year ARM up to 2.93 percent and the 5-year ARM now at 2.78 percent, both now the highest since late August.

Mortgage rates posted these sudden increases following last week's announcement of additional stimulus by the Federal Reserve. While this newly announced bond-buying program is designed to keep long-term interest rates and mortgage rates low, the initial reaction was opposite because of concerns that the Fed's printing of more money would eventually lead to higher inflation. Not to worry, however, as the fiscal cliff issue is still at center stage and as year-end draws closer without an agreement, that is likely to push bond yields and mortgage rates back down.

Even with mortgage rates near record lows, it's still important to shop around for the best mortgage deal. To find the lowest mortgage rates in your area, use the free search engine at Bankrate.com.

I'm Greg McBride.

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