U.S. mortgage rates rose with the improving economy, but remained near historic lows in the week ending March 15, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate climbed to 3.92 percent, up from 3.88 percent in the previous week but below 4.76 percent a year earlier.
An upbeat employment report for February caused U.S. Treasury bond yields to increase over the week and mortgage rates followed, said Frank Nothaft, chief economist of Freddie Mac. The economy gained 227,000 jobs, above the market consensus forecast, and revisions added another 61,000 to January and December. Job growth over the last six months was the strongest since 2006.
The 30-year mortgage has been below 4 percent for 15 consecutive weeks, and along with declining home prices, home affordability is at a historic high. But prospective buyers face tougher approval standards, which has put a drag on home sales.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was up to 3.16 percent from 3.13 percent in the previous week. Last year, the average rate was 3.97 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) edged up to 2.83 percent from 2.81 percent in the previous week. The rate was down from the year-earlier level of 3.57 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs rose to 2.79 percent from 2.73 percent in the previous week, but below 3.17 percent a year earlier.