Improving economy drives mortgage rates higher

In the wake of a number of positive economic reports, mortgage rates edged higher during the week ending April 19, Freddie Mac reports.

In the wake of a number of positive economic reports, mortgage rates edged higher during the week ending April 19, Freddie Mac reports.

The government-sponsored enterprise's Primary Mortgage Market Survey indicates that the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage during the period rose slightly to 3.9 percent. Mortgage records show that the previous week the rate was at 3.88 percent. In addition, the rate for a 15-year FRM rose from an all-time low of 3.11 percent to 3.13 percent.

"Fixed mortgage rates held relatively stable this week amid signs that inflation remains in check," said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft. "Industrial production was flat in March, a reading below the market consensus forecast. Meanwhile, both headline inflation gauges (the consumer and producer price indexes) for March were in line with market expectations."

Despite the slight appreciation of mortgage rates, housing affordability continues to hover near a record high. Earlier this year, the National Association of Realtors indicated that the relationship between home prices, median household incomes and mortgage rates had never been more harmonious, providing homeownership options to a number of prospective buyers.



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