Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published April 17, 2014 at 7:19 AM | Page modified April 26, 2014 at 8:27 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.27 pct

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.


advertising

WASHINGTON —

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

Many analysts have been expecting an improving economy to lift the housing market, which has been recovering over the past two years. But housing has struggled to maintain momentum. Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have held back some potential home buyers. Others have had trouble qualifying for mortgages.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that U.S. home construction rose moderately in March as builders resumed work at the end of a frigid winter. But applications for building permits slid, clouding the outlook for future construction.

The increase in mortgage rates over the year was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low. Indeed, the Fed has announced three $10 billion declines in its monthly bond purchases since December. The latest plan is to cut its monthly long-term bond purchases to $55 billion because it thinks the economy is steadily healing.

The Fed also said after its two-day policy meeting last month that even after it raises short-term interest rates, the job market strengthens and inflation rises, the central bank expects its benchmark short-term rate to stay unusually low.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen, in her first major speech on Fed policy, said Wednesday that the U.S. job market still needs help from the central bank and that it must remain intent on adjusting its policy to respond to unforeseen challenges.

Yellen also made clear she believes the still-subpar economic recovery will continue to need the help of low rates for some time. An increase in short-term interest rates would elevate borrowing costs and could hurt stock prices.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged at 0.7 point. The fee for a 15-year loan remained at 0.6 point.

The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.44 percent from 2.41 percent. The average fee held steady at 0.5 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable mortgage fell to 3.03 percent from 3.09 percent. The fee was unchanged at 0.5 point.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Get ready for 2015

Get ready for 2015

The Seattle Times 12-month wall calendar features hand-picked photos of life in the Pacific Northwest. Order while supplies last!

Advertising

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►