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HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar: Your first report on the mortgage market this week

Fixed mortgage rates rise again this week


Rates on the most popular types of mortgages were mixed this week, with fixed rates rising a little but ARMs declining a bit, according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by seven basis points (0.07 percent) to 3.90 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by three basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.13 percent.

Rising mortgage rates may be coming to a halt

"Mortgage rates have mostly been climbing over the past three weeks, but the rise appears to be in the process of ending for the moment," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "A slightly warmer global economic climate, a European Central Bank adding stimulus and a belief by investors that the Fed is committed to raising rates before long were all among the reasons for the mild lift in rates."

For much of the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, weak global growth and concerns about potential deflation saw global investors plowing money into U.S. bonds as they sought both shelter from unstable local  markets and better yields than were available in their home economies. In turn, this drove down U.S. bond yields and mortgage rates. Of late, though, the brighter economic skies in some countries have lessened this flow of cash, allowing U.S. yields and mortgage rates to rise a bit, but Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's words on Tuesday reversed this trend, to at least some degree.

"Ms. Yellen's testimony before the Congress Tuesday was less "hawkish" than was expected," added Gumbinger. "In her prepared remarks, she again mentioned that the Fed would be ‘patient’ before starting to raise short-term interest rates, meaning that it will be at least a couple of Fed meetings before any change occurs. She also took pains to explain that even a change used in the language to describe the future path of Fed policy does not suggest any imminent change in rates. This cheered markets, and yields and rates retreated somewhat. As a result, at least a portion, perhaps all, of this week's bump in mortgage rates will be erased in the coming days."

For a longer-range outlook, HSH.com also released this week its latest Two-Month Forecast for mortgage rates.

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending February 24, according to HSH.com:

HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar - Four Week Trend

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.90 percent
  • Average Points: 0.14

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.13 percent
  • Average Points: 0.09

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending February 17 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.83 percent
  • Average Points: 0.19

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.16 percent
  • Average Points: 0.11


The Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar reports the average rates and points offered on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and conforming 5/1 ARMs. The weekly mortgage rate survey covers a large sample of mortgage lenders and is conducted over a Wednesday-to-Tuesday cycle, with data released every Wednesday. HSH.com’s survey helps consumers find the best rates on home loans in changing market conditions. Unlike mortgage rate surveys that report average rates only, the Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar’s inclusion of both average rates and average points provides a more accurate view of mortgage terms currently offered by lenders.

Every week, HSH.com conducts a survey of mortgage rate data for a wide range of consumer mortgage products including ARMs, FHA-backed and jumbo mortgages, as well as home equity loans and lines of credit from hundreds of direct lenders in the U.S. For information on additional loan products, visit HSH.com.

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