Fixed Mortgage Rates Increase but Remain Near Record Lows

Strong economic news sent bond yields and fixed mortgage rates higher this week. Despite the increase, mortgage rates today are still near record lows set two years ago. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January Employment report which showed the economy added 257,000 new jobs in January, higher than the expected 235,000 jobs forecast.

Sharply higher revisions to the two prior months jobs reports also contributed to higher interest rates. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from 353,000 to 423,000. The change for December was revised from 252,000 to 329,000

Less than two weeks ago, 10 year bond yields were near a record low of 1.67 percent. Today's 10 year yields are trading at 1.99 percent, a 32 basis point increase.

This past week, average 30 year mortgage rates increased 2 basis points to 3.87 percent, up from to 3.85 percent the prior week. Mortgage rates haven't increased as much as bond yields because lenders never lowered rates as much as bond yields fell.

Current 30 year rates are only 0.50 percent higher from the all-time record low of 3.35 percent set in May 2013. Many lenders are still quoting 30 year rates below the average, there are a few on offering rates at 3.625 percent.

As predicted last week, average conforming 15 year rates are above 3.00 percent. Current mortgage rates on 15 year loans are averaging 3.02 percent, up from the prior week's average rate of 2.96 percent.

The all-time low for 15 year rates is only 40 basis points lower than current rates. The all-time low was 2.56 percent, also set in May 2013. There are lenders quoting 15 year rates near the record lows, the lowest 15 year rates on the tables right now are at 2.875 percent with points. The lowest rate without points is at 3.00 percent.

Average Mortgage Rates February 12, 2015Today's mortgage rates on 30 year jumbo loans are averaging 4.41 percent, up from the prior week's average of 4.35 percent. The spread difference between average 30 year jumbo rates, and the lowest jumbo rates on our table is more than 75 basis points. The lowest jumbo rate currently available is at 3.625 percent.

15 year jumbo rates are averaging 4.24 percent, up from last week's average rate of 4.14 percent. The rate difference between average 15 rates and the lowest 15 year rate available is almost 1.50 percent. The best 15 year refinance rate available is 2.75 percent.

Author: Brian McKay
February 14th, 2015

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