Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey has reported that rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.21% for the week ending April 8, the highest level for the product since the week ending Aug. 13, 2009, when the rate averaged 5.29%. The product was up from a reported average of 5.08% for the week ending April 1; it averaged 4.87% at this time last year.
Freddie Mac also reported that the rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week averaged 4.52%, up from last week's 4.39% average and nearly equal to the 4.54% average from a year ago. This week's figure was the highest for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage since the week ending Dec. 31, 2009, when it averaged 4.54%, according to Freddie Mac.
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, gives credit to the first-time home buyer tax credit for the rising percentages.
‘Following its extension in early November of last year, the home buyer tax credit is showing some impact on housing market activity, mostly through the use of government-insured mortgages, which tend to be a favorite among first-time homebuyers,’ he says. ‘Compared to the week ending Dec. 4, 2009, which was the first week after the original expiration date, mortgage applications for home purchases are up 17 percent for the first week in April of this year for government-insured loans, compared to an 11 percent decline in conventional loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.’
SOURCE: Freddie Mac