• Mortgage Rates Rise, But So Do Applications

  • The upward trend for mortgage rates continues after a several week pause, but with the spring housing market beginning to blossom mortgage applications are also on the rise.

    Rates Going Up

    The Washington Post reports on the latest survey by Freddie Mac, which shows thirty-year fixed rates loans have ticked up yet again. But they’re staying within a tight margin. The average for thirty-year loans has remained between 4.02 and 4.05 percent for the last three weeks.

    “Mixed economic reports over the last few weeks have anchored the 30-year mortgage rate around the 4 percent mark,” Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist, said in a statement.

    The experts disagree on what’s coming next.

    Bankrate.com, which puts out a weekly mortgage rate trend index, found that about half of the experts it surveyed say rates will go up and another half say they will remain relatively stable in the coming week. Less than 10 percent say they will fall.

    Applications Up As Well

    Despite the market, and the unstable rates, mortgage applications are also on the upswing. CNBC reports a 2.4 percent increase from last week, seasonally adjusted.

    Even as buyers complain of high home prices and limited listings, mortgage applications to purchase a home gained 2 percent for the week and are 6 percent higher than a year ago.

    Improving consumer confidence and strength in the job market are behind the rise. Also, spring is traditionally the beginning of home buying season for the year.

    The gains are slow and small, but mortgage volume is beginning to improve again, as more homebuyers sign on the dotted line.

    As always, in order to help predict the next moves in mortgages, keep watch on the Federal Reserve.

    “The job market is tightening, inflation is moving up, and the Fed is poised to raise rates in June — all of which is providing some lift to mortgage rates,” McBride said.