Mortgage rates were caught in a tug of war this week as economic news pushed them up and then pulled them down, leaving them back where they started.
According to the latest data released this morning by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average held steady at 3.75% with an average 0.5 point, The Washington Post reports. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1% of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 4.53 percent a year ago.
The 15-year fixed-rate average rose to 3.22% with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.18% a week ago and 4.02% a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average edged up to 3.46% with an average 0.4 point. It was 3.45% a week ago and 3.86% a year ago.
Last week’s employment report surpassed expectations, sending mortgage rates higher. Then Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell testified before Congress this week. His testimony that President Trump’s trade war and slowing growth abroad are weighing on the U.S. economy sent rates back down.
The financial markets are anticipating the Fed will cut its benchmark interest rate at its July 31 meeting. The benchmark rate is at 2.35%, the highest its been in more than a decade but still low by historical standards. The central bank is expected to lower the rate to 2.1% to stimulate the economy. Read the full story.