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Mortgage rates this week rose slightly, reversing course from the previous week’s decline that has since spurred mortgage activity. The average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate jumped 4 basis points, or 0.04 percent, from the previous week in Bankrate’s weekly survey of lenders. The rate, at 4.08 percent, was a turning point from a dip the prior week. Still, the current rate is relatively flat to the five-week average of 4.07 percent.

But wait, there’s still low rates

Mortgage rates overall have been bouncing around at lower levels than what many expected earlier this year, when rates hit their highest peaks. Lower rates in recent weeks helped spur more consumers to apply for a mortgage or refinancing.

Mortgage applications rose almost 5 percent last week compared to week earlier, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The refinance index also jumped 9 percent during the same period as refinance applications accounted for the largest share of mortgage activity since September.

“Last week was the first time in almost two months that both indices were noticeably higher at the same time,” says Walt Schmidt, CFA and a senior vice president for mortgage strategies at FTN Financial, referring to the home purchase and refinance indices.

Schmidt predicts a “flatter outlook” for the yields of Treasury notes, which directly influences whether mortgage rates go up and down.

Incoming news impacting mortgages

There are other factors at play that could raise mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise its federal funds rate next week. The Fed bases much of its rate decisions on overall economic conditions, so it will be important to watch the employment figures when the latest jobs report is released Friday.

Congress could also pass legislation in the coming months that will impact how you get a mortgage. The Senate banking panel passed a bill Tuesday that would ease some of the banking laws enacted after the financial crisis, including several mortgage requirements for smaller banks. This should help certain banks offer more mortgages.

“The mortgage-related provisions of this bill provide important relief to the housing market by addressing key regulations,” says David Stevens, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, in a statement.

The bill is expected to pass Congress in early 2018, but the final version of that bill remains uncertain.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose this week to 4.08 percent from 4.04 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 4.15 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.04 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.36 percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.44 percent, and is 0.13 percentage points greater than the 52-week low of 3.95 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.29 discount and origination points.

Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 4.15 percent. This week’s rate is 0.07 percentage points lower than the 52-week average.

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.45 percent from 3.43 percent.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.69 percent from 3.66 percent.
  • The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage rose to 4.15 percent from 4.13 percent.

At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $482.04 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $479.72 last week.

At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $712.43 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $711.45 last week.

At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $459.72 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $458.02 last week.

Results of Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders conducted December 6, 2017 and the effect on monthly payments for a $165,000 loan:

Weekly national mortgage survey
Breakdown 30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5-year ARM
This week’s rate: 4.08% 3.45% 3.69%
Change from last week: +0.04 +0.02 +0.03
Monthly payment: $795.36 $1,175.51 $758.53
Change from last week: +$3.82 +$1.62 +$2.79

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