Mortgage rates head into new year on an upswing

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Fixed mortgage rates headed into the new year on an upswing, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate average rose to 4.53 percent with an average 0.8 point. It was 4.48 percent a week ago and 3.34 percent a year ago. This week marked the first time since late September that the 30-year fixed rate topped 4.5 percent. It was also the third week in a row it has gone up.

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

The 15-year fixed-rate average climbed to 3.55 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was 3.52 percent a week ago and 2.64 percent a year ago. Before rising above 3.5 percent two weeks ago, the 15-year fixed rate had remained below that mark since late September.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages held steady. The five-year ARM average ticked up slightly to 3.05 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 3 percent a week ago and 2.71 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average was unchanged from last week at 2.56 percent with an average 0.5 point.

“Mortgage rates edged up to begin the year on signs of a stronger economic recovery,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

“The pending home sales index inched up 0.2 percent in November, after five consecutive months of decline. The Conference Board reported that confidence among consumers rose in December and the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city composite house price index rose 13.6 percent over the 12-months ending in October 2013.”

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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