Fixed mortgage rates were higher in the week ending April 1, with the 30-year rate breaching 5% after four weeks of sub-5% averages. 

According to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed mortgage rates rose nine basis points to 5.08%, and is at its highest level since the first week of January. Meanwhile 15-year fixed rates increased five basis points to 4.39%. 

Adjustable rates were lower with 5/1 hybrid ARM rates averaging 4.10% compared with 4.14%, while one-year ARM rates plunged 15 basis points to 4.05%. 

For the month of March, the 30-year mortgage rate averaged 4.99%, unchanged from February.  Through last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Refinance Index is flat from February, while the Purchase Index's average is close to 10% higher as it benefits from the homebuyers tax credit.

Given the increase in mortgage rates, refinancing activity is expected to slip further. For the week ending March 26, the Refinance Index declined 1.3% to ~2711 as mortgage rates ticked up to 4.99% from 4.96%. Purchase activity should continue to strengthen as buyers rush to take advantage of the tax credit before it expires on April 30, according to the MBA.

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