Blog
February 29th, 2012

Mortgage rates ticking upward

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Below is the latest “Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar” release from HSH.com, a Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey of the two most popular types of mortgages. The significance of this release is that it’s published one full day prior to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey:

PercentRates on the most popular types of mortgages increased slightly, according to HSH.com’s Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 5 basis points (0.05 percent) to 4.05 percent. Conforming 5/1 hybrid ARM rates increased by 2 basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 2.96 percent.

“Mortgage rates firmed up over the past five days but haven’t moved far off their historic lows,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. “The slight increase over the last week was expected, as a warmer economic climate has taken hold.”

Unexpected, however, was the announcement this week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that upfront insurance premiums for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are set to rise for new borrowers.

“The upfront and ongoing costs of getting an FHA-backed loan are going up,” noted Gumbinger. “The 0.75 percentage-point increase in the upfront fee is in addition to a rise in annual premiums of 0.10 percentage points for most FHA borrowers. Interest rates and lending conditions for FHA loans remain very attractive, but the cost of getting one is on the way up.”

FHA-backed loans have become crucial to the housing market, accounting for roughly 15 percent of loans to purchase homes and providing refinancing chances for homeowners with little equity.

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending February 28 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  •     Average rate: 4.05 percent
  •     Average points: 0.25

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  •     Average rate: 2.96 percent
  •     Average points: 0.24

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending February 21 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  •     Average rate: 4.00 percent
  •     Average points: 0.30

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  •     Average rate: 2.94 percent
  •     Average points: 0.24

Methodology
The Weekly Mortgage Rate 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 Rate 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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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

Our bloggers:

Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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