Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose sharply this week as signs of a strong economy and concerns about inflation added to Wall Street's speculation that the Federal Reserve might act sooner than anticipated to raise interest rates.
The 30-year rates averaged 6.34 percent, up from 6.12 percent last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly survey. Rates hit a low for the year of 5.38 percent the week of March 18. Thirty-year loans are at their highest level since they averaged 6.44 percent the week of Sept. 5.
A government report last week that said payrolls grew robustly in April "reaffirmed market expectations that the Fed will move sooner now rather than later," Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft said.
Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 5.72 percent, from 5.47 percent last week. For one-year adjustable rate mortgages, rates increased to 3.90 percent this week, from 3.76 percent last week.
The nationwide averages for mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Each loan type carried an average fee of 0.7 point this week.
This time last year, rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 5.45 percent, 15-year mortgages were at 4.84 percent and one-year adjustable mortgages stood at 3.67 percent.
EVENTS . . . "Linking Land Use, Transportation, Economy and the Environment" is the title for a Smart Growth lecture that begins at 12:30 p.m. Monday at the National Building Museum, 401 F. St. NW, Washington. Harrison Rue, executive director of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission in Charlottesville, explains that city's success incorporating lessons from smart growth, New Urbanism and healthy communities to integrate grassroots planning and the regional transportation process. Admission is free. For information, call 202-272-2448; Web site: www.nbm.org. . . . South Africa-born architect Lindy Roy, principal of New York-based ROY, is to discuss her studio's work from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Monday at the National Building Museum, 401 F. St. NW, Washington. Topics include a resort project in Africa, the Vitra showroom in New York and the Wind River Lodge at Valdez, Alaska. A book signing ("ROY: Design Series 1," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) follows. Admission is $17 (students, $10); paid registration is required. For information, call 202-272-2448; Web site: www.nbm.org. . . . Register by Monday for a construction-watch tour of Glenbrook Residence, scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon May 22. The eco-friendly design of the Bethesda home, features all-natural materials, an underground spring-fed water furnace HVAC system and a projected 100-year lifespan. The project's Virginia-based architect, David Jameson, is to lead the tour. Admission is $14 plus a valid membership ($40) to the National Building Museum, 401 F. St. NW, Washington; paid registration is required. For information, call 202-272-2448; Web site: www.nbm.org.
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