Fixed mortgage rates rose for the fourth straight week as Treasurys backed up further as better-than-anticipated economic news led to reduced expectations of quantitative easing while headlines out of Europe have been quiet.

For the week ending Aug. 23, Freddie Mac reported 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.66% from 3.62% last week with rates at their highest level since the last half of June when they were at 3.66%.

The 5/1 hybrid ARMs were also up four basis points to 2.80% while 15-year fixed rates rose one basis point to 2.89%. One-year ARM rates, however, declined to 2.66% from 2.69%.

Refinancing borrowers have been less responsive as rates moved higher with the Mortgage Bankers Association's Refinance Index falling 9.2% in the week ending Aug. 17 to 4610.

The index is down over 15% since hitting a recent high of 5453 at the end of July when rates in turn were at a historic low of 3.49%.

While yesterday's Federal Open Market Committee minutes have led yields lower on the strengthening in QE odds, it's unlikely that borrowers will be too reactive to improved rate levels until there is a significant decline. Many have already refinanced at the historic lows that were steadily made beginning in early May.

 

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