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Mortgage Rates Radar: Mortgage rates drive higher this week

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Rates on the most popular mortgage types rose considerably according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rates increased by 12 basis points (0.12 percent) to 4.61 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates rose by seven basis points (0.07 percent), closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.41 percent.

"The economic data continues to be firm enough to fuel expectations that the Fed will begin tapering its purchases of mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds in September," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "The economy may not be all that strong, but there are few indications of significant weakening that could push the date further into the future."

The Federal Reserve has noted that it will react to new incoming data to determine an appropriate point to begin the process of removing extraordinary monetary support. Absent a spate of truly soft data or a new crisis to address, the relative strength or weakness of a given group of data may only dictate how quickly the process comes to completion.

"There could still be employment, housing or other economic reports which might give the Fed pause," adds Gumbinger. "However, it is likely that they would need to be truly weak numbers to stop the Fed from beginning the process of returning to a more normal monetary policy."

Any poor news would need to accumulate quickly, as the Fed meets next in just about a month's time, notes Gumbinger.

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending August 20, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 4.61 percent
  • Average points: 0.21

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 3.41 percent
  • Average points: 0.17

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending August 13 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate: 4.49 percent
  • Average Points: 0.21

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate: 3.34 percent
  • Average Points: 0.14

Methodology
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.

About HSH.com
HSH.com is a trusted source of mortgage data, trends, news and analysis. Since 1979, HSH’s market research and commentary has helped homeowners, buyers and sellers make smart financial choices and save money on mortgage and home equity products. HSH.com, of Riverdale, N.J., is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in ethical marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.

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