Mortgage rates inch back up above 3 percent, Freddie Mac says

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A week after crashing through the 3 percent milestone, mortgage rates rose a bit this week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday. Its weekly survey says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.01 percent, plus an average of 0.8 of a point.

Last week, Freddie Mac’s average rate was 2.98 percent, a headline-grabbing number that reflected the depth of the coronavirus recession. The company also reported slight increases in rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.

“While housing demand continues to rebound, the month-long swoon in economic activity has caused the 10-year Treasury benchmark to drop. In the short-term, this means the demand will continue on the back of near record low mortgage rates,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “However, the most recent consumer spending data has been pointing to slow growth since mid-June. The concern is that the pause in economic activity will cause unemployment to remain elevated, which will lead to longer-term labor market distress.”

Bankrate’s latest national survey, meanwhile, says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.33 percent from 3.31 percent last week. Freddie Mac’s weekly survey reports an average rate that doesn’t include points. Bankrate’s national survey includes points in its number, yielding a slightly higher result.

In Bankrate’s latest survey of mortgage experts, half expect rates to remain unchanged in the coming week. Many say mortgage rates will stay in a holding pattern as the coronavirus contagion creates a combination of economic uncertainty and government stimulus.

“It seems we are all just holding for the next wave of coronavirus news updates,” says Jennifer Kouchis, senior vice president at VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Florida. “That’s dictating the rise and fall of mortgage rates.”

Featured image by James Leynse/Corbis News/Getty Images.

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