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Mortgage Interest Rates Rise To Highest Level In 8 Months

Freddie Mac announced this morning that mortgage interest rates rose to the highest level in 8 months. If you're looking for a loan, here's what you'll find, assuming you have a top credit score, no blemishes in your credit history, plenty of cash and equity (if you're refinancing your home):

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage: 5.21 percent plus 0.6 point. That's up from 5.08 percent last week, and 4.87 percent a year ago.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: 4.52 percent plus 0.6 point. That's up from 4.39 percent last week. A year ago, the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was 4.54 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (ARM): 4.25 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from 4.10 percent last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.93 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM: 4.14 this week with an average 0.5 point. Last week, a 1-year ARM could be had for 4.05 percent. A year ago, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.83 percent.
Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft attributed the higher interest rates to the bond market's positive reaction to the positive jobs news.
"The economy added 162,000 jobs, which was the largest monthly gain over the past three years. In addition, revisions raised the January and February figures by a combined 61,000 workers. Excluding government employees, private payrolls rose for the third consecutive month and were the strongest increase since May 2007."

Of course, this week's primary mortgage market survey was completed before this morning's announcement that unemployment claims jumped to 460,000 during Easter week. (I'm just not convinced the jobs market has turned the corner yet, and until it does, it's hard to envision having a robust real estate market.)

Mortgage interest rates are widely expected to approach 6 percent by the end of the year. What I'm watching is how much rising interest rates (coupled with the expiration of the home buyer tax credits) will hurt the slightly-recovering housing market.

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Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and the upcoming Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at
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