Mortgage rates increased for a second consecutive week, with the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rising to 3.73%, up from 3.56% the previous week, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
A year ago at this time, the average rate for a 30-year was 4.65%.
For the week ended Sept. 19, the average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage 3.21%, up from 3.09% the previous week.
A year ago at this time, the average rate for a 15-year was 4.11%.
The average rate for a five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 3.49%, up from 3.36%.
A year ago at this time, the five-year ARM averaged 3.92%.
“Despite the rise in mortgage rates, economic data improved this week – particularly housing activity, which gained momentum with a noticeable rise in purchase demand and new construction,” says Sam Khater, chief economist for Freddie Mac, in a statement. “Homebuyers flocked to lenders with purchase applications, which were up fifteen percent from a year ago and residential construction permits increased 12 percent from a year ago to 1.4 million, the highest level in 12 years.
“While there was initially a slow response to the overall lower mortgage rate environment this year, it is clear that the housing market is finally improving due to the strong labor market and low mortgage rates,” Khater adds.