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Mortgage rates hold steady amid federal government shutdown

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Mortgage rates showed little movement this week as the industry awaits the resolution of the federal government shutdown.

The shutdown has prevented many of the key economic indicators that influence rates from being released. For example, the federal jobs report was due out last Friday but the shutdown kept the Bureau of Labor Statistics from releasing the data. Typically, that type of data provides guidance about where the economy is heading.

Without that information, rates were in a holding pattern, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate average experienced a slight uptick, rising to 4.23 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was up from 4.22 percent a week ago and 3.39 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed rate had fallen for three weeks in a row.

The 15-year fixed-rate average rose to 3.31 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was 3.29 percent a week ago and 2.7 percent a year ago.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages also had slight increases. The five-year ARM averaged 3.05 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 3.03 a week ago and 2.73 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM averaged 2.64 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.63 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were little changed amid the federal debt impasse in Washington, D.C. and a light week of economic data releases,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. “Of the few releases, the private sector added an estimated 166,000 jobs in September, which were fewer than the market consensus and followed a downward revision of 17,000 workers in August, according to the ADP Research Institute. The Institute for Supply Management reported a greater slowing in growth in the nonmanufacturing industry in September than the market consensus forecast.”

(Pam Tobey/The Washington Post) (Pam Tobey/The Washington Post)

After dipping last week, mortgage applications increased slightly, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, rose 1.3 percent. The Refinance index grew 3 percent, while the Purchase Index dropped 1 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity climbed to 64 percent, a month after sinking to 57 percent, its lowest level since April 2010. Refinances had accounted for more than 80 percent of applications earlier this year.


Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.



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Kathy Orton · October 10, 2013

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