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On the radar: Freddie Mac mortgage rates move further from recent lows as of March 19

Volatility in Treasury market pricing and higher yields helped drive mortgage rates higher as of the March 19 data from Freddie Mac.  Consumers who did not act to lock in rates in recent weeks may be disappointed that these are back up to those seen in January. However, these could still be low enough to keep some buyers in the market, while others may wait to see if there is another turn downward to capture. It will choke off the move to refinacing for those who were in it for a lower rate, not to take out some equity.

The 30-year fixed rate was up 29 basis points to 3.65% as of March 19, the highest since 3.65% in the January 16 week. The average for March to-date is 3.43%, not far below the 3.47% in February.

The 15-year fixed rate was also up 29 basis points to 3.06%, the highest since 3.09% in the January 16 week. The rate for the first three weeks in March averages 2.87%, trending back toward the 2.97% in February.

The rate for a 5/1-year ARM was up 10 basis points to 3.11%, its highest since the first week in March. The average for March to-date is 3.10%, still well below the 3.26% in February. The rate is attractive enough it might tempt some buyers into an adjustable rate mortgage in the hope of refinancing with a lower rate later, or in minimizing payments now in order to build some equity.

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