Mortgage Rates Climb a Little

Mortgage interest rates climbed slightly for the week as fixed rates Rates moved up a single basis point on 30-year and 15-year loans from a week earlier, according to Freddie Mac. The rates on adjustable mortgages moved slightly lower.

The small climb in rates still keeps borrowing for those wanting to refinance mortgages near their historic lows. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.52% with an average 0.7 point on an 80% loan-to-value mortgage. The 15-year loan averaged 3.66%. Both loans were slightly higher a year ago as the federal government’s incentive to energize the housing market with a home buyer tax credit was winding down.

The consumer price index fell moderately in June on lower energy costs, but higher gasoline prices in July are expected to wipe that reduction out during the busy summer vacation driving season. Consumer confidence sank to the lowest reading since March of 2009, according to a survey taken by the  University of  Michigan.

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Treasury bonds remained historically low under 3% on the benchmark 10-year bond, keeping mortgage interest rates low. Concerns, however, about the federal budget and deadlines associated with lawmakers in  Washington,  D.C. reaching an agreement rattle financial markets.

“The recent housing data also varied,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft. “Single family housing starts jumped 9.4% in June to the strongest pace since November 2010 and homebuilder confidence rebounded in July. Yet existing home sales fell 0.8% in June and represented the fewest since November 2010.”

The rate on a 5-year Treasury index adjustable rate mortgage averaged 3.27% down from last week when it was at 3.29%. The 1-year ARM averaged 2.97% up slightly from the prior week when it was 2.95%.