WASHINGTON – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for a third straight week yet remained near three-year lows as the home buying season progresses.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.66 per cent from 3.64 per cent last week. That is well below its level a year ago of 3.87 per cent.
The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 2.92 per cent from 2.89 per cent.
U.S. government bond prices have declined, raising long-term bond yields, in the past few weeks since the Federal Reserve indicated that an interest-rate increase is likely this month if the economy keeps improving.
Long-term bond yields tend to influence mortgage rates.
Bond prices began rising, and yields declined, this week, however. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 1.84 per cent Wednesday from 1.87 per cent a week earlier. It fell to 1.82 per cent Thursday morning.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of 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 from last week at 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-year loan also was steady at 0.5 point.
Rates on adjustable five-year mortgages averaged 2.88 per cent this week, up from 2.87 per cent last week. The fee remained at 0.5 per cent.