November 18th, 2013

Mortgage rates again pushed higher by positive data



Seesaw percent and houseAs expected, mortgage rates increased last week thanks to more promising economic news. However, most of that good news came towards the end of the previous week, as last week was more a “mixed bag” of economic reports.

The Fed’s programs to help keep interest rates low are still the only stimulus game in town. These programs of course have limits: refinancing can only go so far and employment gains depend more on demand than the cost, but at least the Fed should be credited for trying to move the growth needle higher over the past several years.

If the Fed is successful in strengthening the economy further, mortgage rates will firm.

Mortgage rates move higher

According to’s Monday-through-Friday mortgage-rate survey, interest rates on home loans increased across the board last week:

  • 30-year: The overall average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (conforming, non-conforming and jumbos) increased by 11 basis points (0.11 percent) to 4.45 percent.
  • 15-year: The overall average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage (conforming, non-conforming and jumbos) increased by six basis points (0.06 percent) from the prior week’s value, rising to 3.53 percent.
  • FHA: The popular FHA-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose by nine basis points to again climb over the 4 percent mark to 4.06 percent.
  • ARMs: The overall 5/1 Hybrid ARM again moved the least of the bunch, rising by another two hundredths of a percentage point (0.02 percent), lifting to 3.06 percent for the week ending November 15.

This week …

The seesaw of positive economic data pushing mortgage rates higher and Fed policies trying to drag them lower continues. Sure, mortgage rates have been rising recently, but Keith Gumbinger, vice president of and author of the weekly Market Trends newsletter, assures us that “we are in no danger of topping recent highs (or reaching recent lows) at the moment.”

The positive economic data is expected to continue throughout this week. This week, we’ll digest the latest data from the homebuilders, the existing home sales figures from the NAR and more. “It should be an interesting week,” wrote Gumbinger, “and mortgage rates should hold pretty firm around present levels.”

Keep an eye out for our latest Two-Month Forecast for mortgage rates due out by week’s end.

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About the HSH Blog'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.

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Tim Manni

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

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