US mortgage rates rise, though remain historically low
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, file photo, real estate signs mark the lots near one of the new homes for sale in a development for new homes in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. On Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week‚Äôs average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
December 07, 2017 - 8:14 AM
WASHINGTON - U.S. mortgage rates rose this week as the economy showed signs of strength, which makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will raise its short-term rate next week.
The rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.94 per cent from 3.9 per cent last week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said. The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance, also increased, rising to 3.36 per cent from 3.3 per cent.
The five-year adjustable mortgage rate rose for the third straight week to 3.35 per cent from 3.32 per cent last week.
Shorter-term rates are rising more quickly than longer-term debt, and the gap between the 30-year mortgage and five-year has narrowed since the summer. As a result, more homebuyers are choosing the longer-term fixed rate, Freddie Mac said.
Even with the increase, the 30-year rate is down from the beginning of the year, when it stood at 4.13 per cent. Any rate below 5 per cent is low by historic standards.
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits is near a four-decade low and surveys of manufacturers and service firms point to healthy growth.
Federal Reserve policymakers meet next week and are widely expected to lift their short-term rate for the third time this year.
News from © The Associated Press, 2017