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Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 03/15/2012

Mortgage rates edge higher across the board


Mortgage rates jumped higher this week amid another positive jobs report. (MOLLY RILEY - REUTERS)
Mortgage rates edged higher this week on the heels of another positive jobs report and increasing bond yields, according to this week’s report from Freddie Mac.

The average 30-year fixed-fixed rate mortgage jumped to 3.92 percent, up from 3.88 percent last week but still well off the pace from a year ago (4.76 percent). The average has now remained below 4.00 percent for 15 straight weeks.

The average 15-year rate, which reached an all-time low last week when it hit 3.13 percent, also slid up to 3.16 percent. Last year at this time, the 15-year averaged 3.97 percent.

Rounding out the report, both the 1-year and 5-year Treasury-indexed, adjustable-rate mortgage averages also increased this week.

“An upbeat employment report for February caused U.S. Treasury bond yields to increase over the week and mortgage rates followed,” Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in a statement, later noting that the economy added 227,000 jobs last month, according to new data from the Labor Department.

Meanwhile, over the last six months, job growth has hit its fastest pace since 2006.

“In addition, the Federal Reserve’s March 13th policy committee announcement noted that it anticipates the unemployment rate will decline gradually toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its mandate to achieve maximum employment with stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.”

However, while these persistently low mortgage rates have helped keep homebuyer affordability high, tightening lending standards and demand for higher down payments are still keeping many Americans out of the market.

Related: Freddie Mac asks government for just $146M after better 4Q

By  |  10:11 AM ET, 03/15/2012

Tags:  mortgage rates

 
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