The Fed acts and mortgage rates move higher
Federal Reserve elected this week to raise short-term interest rates for the first time since 2006
Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) for the week ending December 17, 2015, showing fixed mortgage rates ticking slightly higher for the second week in a row on expectations that the Federal Reserve’s would and did raise short-term interest rates for the first time since 2006.
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.97 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending December 17, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.95 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.80 percent.
- 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.22 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.19 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.09 percent.
- 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.03 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.95 percent.
- 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.67 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, up from 2.64 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.38 percent.
Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac…
“As was almost-universally expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve elected this week to raise short-term interest rates for the first time since 2006. We take the Fed at its word that monetary tightening in 2016 will be gradual, and we expect only a modest increase in longer-term rates.
Mortgage rates will tick higher but remain at historically low levels in 2016. Home sales will remain strong, but refinance activity should cool somewhat.
Novel policy approaches such as quantitative easing injected significant liquidity in the economy over the past seven years. As a result, the Fed is forced to employ some new tools, such as reverse repos, as it tightens monetary policy. We are likely to see some short-term volatility in fixed-income markets as market participants adjust to these new tools.”