Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.76 per cent; 15-year rate up to 3.05 per cent

WASHINGTON – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage jumped to 3.76 per cent from 3.69 per cent last week. The average rate is still at its lowest level since May 2013.

The rate for the 15-year loan, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, increased to 3.05 per cent from 2.99 per cent last week.

A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.33 per cent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.35 per cent. Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve in October ended its monthly bond purchases, which were meant to hold down long-term rates.

The recent rise in mortgage rates has come as bond yields have jumped from record low levels. Mortgage rates often follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which has climbed back over 2 per cent. Bond yields rise as prices fall.

The 10-year note traded at 2.08 per cent Wednesday, up from 1.99 per cent a week earlier. It traded at 2.09 per cent Thursday morning.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of 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 per cent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was 0.6 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for a 15-year mortgage also remained at 0.6 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage was unchanged at 2.97 per cent. The fee was stable at 0.5 point.

For a one-year ARM, the average rate increased to 2.45 per cent from 2.42 per cent. The fee remained at 0.4 point.