Three months of record low rates come to an end

Average rate for 30-year fixed up to 3.55%

The last week in July saw the average rate for a 30-year fixed drop to a historic low of 3.49 percent. Last week, Freddie Mac reported that the average rate had edged up to 3.55 percent — still significantly lower than August a year ago, when the average rate was 4.39 percent.

Year-over-year average rates still significantly lower

For the week ending, Freddie Mac reported these average rates:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages
    • last week: average 3.55 percent
    • prior week: average of 3.49 percent
    • same time last year: 4.39 percent
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages
    • last week: average 2.83 percent
    • prior week: average of 2.80 percent
    • same time last year: 3.54 percent
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages
    • last week: average 2.75 percent
    • prior week: average of 2.74 percent
    • same time last year: 3.18 percent
  • 1-year ARMs
    •  last week: average 2.70 percent
    • prior week: average of 2.71 percent
    • same time last year: 3.02 percent

Better than expected job numbers for July help push rates

July saw 163,000 jobs added, which was better than expected than the 100,000 jobs experts had anticipated. The first quarter of 2012 averaged 226,000 jobs per month — a rate that fell off sharply in the second quarter. From April to June, an average of just 75,000 jobs were added each month. Although the national unemployment rate rose from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent, the job market numbers were enough to spark activity in the stock market and provide a gentle nudge to mortgage rates.

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