Mortgage rates increase as household net worth improves

After six straight weeks of falling to new all-time lows, mortgage rates finally reversed their course during the week ending June 14.

After six straight weeks of falling to new all-time lows, mortgage rates finally reversed their course during the week ending June 14.

Mortgage records show the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.71 percent, up from 3.67 percent a week earlier, according to Freddie Mac. In addition, the average rate for a 15-year FRM edged higher to 2.98 percent from an all-time low of 2.94 percent. Despite the slight increase, this rate has been below 3 percent for all but one week so far this year.

Meanwhile, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft claims that shifts in the financial standings of consumers this month may have played a role in the rising rates.

"Fixed mortgage rates edged up slightly from record lows during a mild week of economic data releases," Nothaft said. "The Federal Reserve Board reported that household net worth rose by $2 trillion to $62.9 trillion over the first three months of 2012 primarily due to increases in stock markets."

However, despite the slight increase in household net worth, the total was still well below its peak of $67.5 trillion recorded in 2007, Nothaft added.



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