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The interest rate on mortgages continues to edge up after declining steeply earlier this spring.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose this week to 4.36 percent from 4.34 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 4.73 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.17 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.74 percentage points below the 52-week high of 5.10 percent, and is 0.19 percentage points above the 52-week low of 4.17 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.33 discount and origination points. Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 4.71 percent. This week’s rate is 0.35 percentage points lower than the 52-week average.

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.72 percent from 3.71 percent.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 4.01 percent from 4.05 percent.
  • The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 4.33 percent from 4.36 percent.

At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $498.40 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $497.22 last week.

At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $725.74 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $725.24 last week.

At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $477.99 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $480.30 last week.

Results of Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders conducted April 24, 2019 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: 4.36% 3.72% 4.01%
Change from last week: +0.02 +0.01 -0.04
Monthly payment: $822.36 $1,197.46 $788.69
Change from last week: +$1.94 +$0.81 -$3.81

Mortgage applications continue to tumble

As mortgage rates climb, home loan applications continue taking the hits. Total loan applications fell 7.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s applications survey for the week ending April 19.

Leading the decline, refinance applications — which are more sensitive to interest rates — plummeted 11 percent from the previous week and are down 28 percent over the most recent three-week survey period. Meanwhile, purchase applications fell 4 percent but were 3 percent higher than a year ago, the MBA reported.

“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has risen 10 basis points in three weeks, and is now at its highest level in over a month,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA senior vice president and chief economist, in a news release. “Borrowing costs have recently drifted higher because of ebbing geopolitical concerns, as well as signs of strengthening in the U.S. economy, including the recent data pointing to robust retail sales.”

A strong economy and job market is keeping buyers interested, but rising mortgage rates could be crimping affordability for potential buyers, Fratantoni adds. To add to buyers’ affordability woes, the median existing-home sales price in March hit $259,400, up 3.8 percent from last March when it was $249,800.

New-home sales surge in March

With little resale inventory to choose from, buyers are flocking to new construction as prices for those homes fall.

New single-family home sales jumped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 in March, up 4.5 percent from a revised rate of 662,000 in February, according to a joint release from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. March’s sales rate is 3 percent higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile, the median sales price of new homes dropped in March to $302,700, down nearly 10 percent from a year ago when the median was $335,400.

New housing supply fell to a more “normalized” level of six months, down from 7.4 months in December, wrote Robert Dietz, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders, in a blog post. This points to a gradual stabilization in the market since last fall, when rising interest rates caused a retreat in new-home sales, he noted.

“The return to the long-run trend for sales and recent declines in mortgage interest rates (now around 4.2 percent) suggest demand is available when housing affordability conditions improve,” Dietz wrote.

The “Bankrate.com National Average,” or “national survey of large lenders,” is conducted weekly. The results of this survey are quoted in our weekly articles and national media outlets. To conduct the National Average survey, Bankrate obtains rate information from the 10 largest banks and thrifts in 10 large U.S. markets. In the Bankrate.com national survey, our Market Analysis team gathers rates and/or yields on banking deposits, loans and mortgages. We’ve conducted this survey in the same manner for more than 30 years, and because it’s consistently done the way it is, it gives an accurate national apples-to-apples comparison.