Economists' eyes last week focused on Congress, where Federal Reserve Chair-nominee Janet Yellen answered questions that could provide a clue to her prospective policies. As expected, she defended current Fed policies and alluded to the future plan for tapering bond-buying, but without setting a timetable. Mortgage rates rose based on some positive economic data in recent weeks.
Mortgage rates on the upswing
According to HSH.com, last week the overall average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan rose by eleven basis points (0.11 percent) to 4.45 percent. Average rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgage loans increased by six basis points (0.06 percent) to 3.53 percent. Rates for FHA-insured, 30-year fixed-rate home loans rose by nine basis points (0.09 percent) to an average rate of 4.06 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), moved the least of all mortgage rates last week, increasing by just two basis points (0.02 percent) to an average rate of 3.06 percent. Compare mortgage rates for your area before refinancing or applying for a purchase loan.
Encouraging economic news
Both the Chicago Federal Reserve review of economic indicators and the National Activity Index rose last month, both suggesting a more solid economic recovery may be falling into place.
Employment statistics are among the most crucial indicators of an improved economy. For the week ending November 9, 339,000 new unemployment claims were filed, a smaller-than-hoped-for decline.
The mortgage experts at HSH.com anticipate that mortgage rates will stay close to their current rates this week, although data about existing home sales, homebuilder confidence, retail sales and more released this week could have an impact on rates.
Consult our live database of current mortgage rates to find the best mortgage rates in your area.