Higher bond yields higher and improving economic data lifted the 30-year fixed rate mortgage this week over the 4 percent level for the first time since Oct. 27, 2011, according to Freddie Mac.
The average 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.08 percent for the week, up from 3.92 percent the previous week.
On Oct. 27, the long-term rate was at 4.10 percent.
However, the average 30-year fixed rate has been below 4 percent for 15 consecutive weeks. The all-time low of 3.87 percent was set last month.
U.S. Treasury bond yields have climbed over the past two weeks, partly because of an improving assessment of the economy by the Federal Reserve, better than expected results of commercial bank stress tests and the likelihood of a second bailout for Greece, according to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“Meanwhile, consumers continued to reduce their debt burdens in the fourth quarter of 2011,” Nothaft said.
Homeowners reduced their financial obligations ratio – debt payments as a share of disposable income – to the lowest point since the second quarter of 1994, he said.
Here’s Freddie Mac’s latest overview of mortgage rates:
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08 percent, with an average 0.8 point, for the week ending March 22, 2012, up from last week when it averaged 3.92 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rat averaged 4.81 percent.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.30 percent, with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.16 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.04 percent.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.96 percent, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.83 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.62 percent.
- The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.84 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.79 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.21 percent.