Mortgage Interest Rate Report - December
Last Updated: 12/12/2014
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After a slight increase in the first week, long-term mortgage interest rates made a consistent if incremental decline in November, according to data from mortgage finance company Freddie Mac.
Average rates made a small jump at the beginning of the month as economic data that week had a positive flavor. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rose to an average rate of 4.02 percent, excluding fees, from 3.98 percent during the last week of October. The average rate on a 15-year FRM climbed to 3.21 percent, up from 3.13 percent the week before and the one-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate inched up to 2.54 percent.
"Mortgage rates continued to rise this week with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage eclipsing the 4 percent mark,” explained Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft. “The rate increases coincide with real GDP beating consensus expectations of 3.0 percent growth by growing at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter."
Rates were virtually unchanged the following week with the 30-year FRM rate slipping to 4.01 percent, the 15-year FRM easing to 3.20 percent and the one-year ARM slipping to 2.43 percent.
As a few less positive reports emerged, mortgage rates continued to fall the next week. The average rate on a 30-year FRM fell to 3.99 percent. The 15-year FRM rate also dropped, declining to 3.17 percent and the one-year ARM crept up to 2.44 percent.
“Fixed mortgage rates were slightly down as housing starts [PDF] declined 2.8 percent in October below the upwardly revised September rate,” commented Nothaft. “…Lastly, industrial production slipped by 0.1 percent in October, below the market consensus forecast."
During the last week of November, rates were again stagnant. The 30-year FRM rate decreased slightly to 3.97 percent, but the 15-year FRM and one-year ARM rates held steady at 3.17 percent and 2.44 percent, respectively.
Most analysts do not expect much movement in rates in December, likely following a very similar pattern as we saw in November. If consumers end up spending a substantial amount during the holiday season, that boost to the economy could start to bring a rate increase in January, but not there is little indication that much rate change will occur before the new year.