Mortgage rate jumps past 4% first time since October
After many recent weeks where mortgage rates hit record lows, the 30-year rate jumped this week to its highest level since late October.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, a popular choice for most homebuyers, hit 4.08%, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey. That's 0.16 percentage points higher than a week earlier and its first time over the 4% mark since October.
The average rate for a 15-year loan also climbed, to 3.30% from 3.16% last week.
The 30-year rate has occupied a very narrow range for months, varying only between 3.87% and 3.98% all this year. Historically low mortgage rates have been a bright spot for buyers in a troubled housing market.
"A strengthening economy has pushed mortgage rates up a little bit," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a mortgage information company. "We've moved off the absolute rock-bottom lows of the past few months to a slightly higher level."
Freddie Mac's chief economist, Frank Nothaft, attributed the increase to bond yields rising over the past two weeks after a more upbeat assessment of the economy by the Federal Reserve, better-than-expected results of commercial bank stress tests and the likelihood of a second bailout for Greece.
Even after the rise, mortgages are still cheap. The increases add less than $10 to the monthly mortgage payment for every $100,000 borrowed.