Average U.S. mortgage interest rates increased for the first time in four weeks, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.41 percent, with an average 0.5 point, for the week ending March 7, 2019, an increase from the previous week when the 30-year note averaged 4.35 percent. Last year the 30-year loan averaged 4.46 percent.
“While mortgage rates very modestly rose to 4.41 percent this week, they remain below year-ago levels for the fourth week in a row," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said. "In late 2018, mortgage rates rose over a full percentage point from the prior year, which was one of the main reasons that weakness in home sales [nationwide] continued into early 2019. However, the impact of recent lower rates and a strong labor market has led to a rise in purchase mortgage demand as we start the spring homebuying season.”
The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan averaged 3.83 percent, with an average 0.4 point, compared to 3.77 percent the previous week and 3.94 percent during the same week in 2018.
The five-year, adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.87 percent, with an average 0.3 point, compared to 3.84 percent the previous week. A year ago, the five-year arm averaged 3.63 percent.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported last week that purchase loan applications increased 1 percent compared to the same week in 2018.