Thursday, October 30th8.7°C
21625
22501

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 4.40 pct; 15-year loan up to 3.42 pct.

WASHINGTON - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week in the wake of comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen suggesting that the Fed could start raising short-term interest rates by mid-2015.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 4.40 per cent from 4.32 per cent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage rose to 3.42 per cent from 3.32 per cent.

A key home-price index showed Tuesday a robust 13.2 per cent increase in January compared with 12 months earlier. But the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index was down from a 13.4 per cent increase in 2013 and was the second straight decline.

There have been signs recently that the home-sales market could pick up in the coming months.

Most economists expect sales to rebound as the weather improves and the spring buying season begins. Not only does warmer weather bring more traffic to open houses, but families are usually reluctant to move in the middle of the school year.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago.

The increase was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low. Indeed, the Fed has announced three $10 billion declines in its monthly bond purchases since December. The latest plan is to cut its monthly long-term bond purchases to $55 billion because it thinks the economy is steadily healing.

The Fed also said after its two-day policy meeting last week that even after it raises short-term interest rates, the job market strengthens and inflation rises, the central bank expects its benchmark short-term rate to stay unusually low.

Yellen stressed that with the job market still weak, the Fed intends to keep short-term rates near zero for a "considerable" time and would raise them only gradually. Yellen also suggested that the Fed could start raising rates six months after it halts its monthly bond purchases, which most economists expect by year's end. That means short-term rates could rise by mid-2015.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 per cent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged at 0.6 point. The fee for a 15-year loan also held steady at 0.6 point.

The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.44 per cent from 2.49 per cent. The average fee remained at 0.4 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable mortgage increased to 3.10 per cent from 3.02 per cent. The fee rose to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23028


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14458.69-68.88
S&P CDNX771.65-9.42
DJIA17195.42221.11
Nasdaq4566.138+16.912
S&P 5001994.65+12.35
CDN Dollar0.8923-0.0011
Gold1193.40-5.20
Oil80.63-0.27
Lumber322.40-1.20
Natural Gas3.715+0.066

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.11+0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.150.00
Cantex0.045-0.015
Anavex Life Sciences0.1711-0.0089
Metalex Ventures0.0350.00
Russel Metals32.22-0.35
Copper Mountain Mining1.97-0.05
Colorado Resources0.14+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.012-0.004
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05+0.025
Mission Ready Services0.375+0.005

 



23901

FEATURED Property
18622483693 Green Bay Landing, West Kelowna, BC
4 bedrooms 4 baths
$2,995,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Empty nesting: financial issues

Now that the children have ‘left the nest’, it is a good time to step back and take stock of your financial situation. Being on your own will probably cut household costs to some extent, b...


Keep your haunted home safe

Eerie sounds, spooky lights and Jack-o’-lanterns aglow—extra efforts at Halloween will keep visitors coming back for both tricks and treats. However, to keep the fun going, it’s imp...


What I learned in China

Photo: ContributedI will never be an expert on China. It is just too big, too complex and too old with layers of history and meaning that would take several lifetimes to unravel. As I said to my hosts...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22620