oving higher for a second week, the 30-year mortgage rate broke back
above 4%. Freddie Mac calculated that lenders were offering the most
popular home loan at an average of 4.02%.Rates rose for other
loan types as well. Freddie Mac said 15-year fixed mortgages were
averaging 3.21%, up from 3.13% a week earlier, and the start rates on
adjustable loans edged higher.
The widely watched survey,
released Thursday, had shown the 30-year mortgage below 4% for the
three prior weeks, bottoming out at 3.92% two weeks ago at the low point
for this year.Instead, rates fell, even as the Fed cut back on and then ceased its massive purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage securities issued by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
The rate opened 2014 at about 4.5%, and most
economists predicted it would rise higher as the Federal Reserve tapered
off an extraordinary economic stimulus program.
Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said that strong economic
reports this week raised the prospect of higher inflation and that more
investors might dump bonds for stocks and other investments, driving
rates higher.Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and
services produced in the U.S., as well as an index of manufacturing
activity came in higher than analysts had anticipated.
Mac asks lenders across the country about rates being offered to solid
borrowers who pay about half of 1% of the loan amount in upfront lender
fees and discount points. Third-party fees for services typically paid by borrowers, such as for appraisals, are not included in the survey.