Texas rates on fixed mortgages began to edge up this week, inching further and further away from the bottom rates we saw this summer. Freddie Mac reported earlier this week that average rate for 30-year fixed loans rose to 4.40 percent from 4.39 percent last week. Two weeks ago, the rate hit 4.17 percent, the lowest level on records dating back to 1971.
The 15-year loan also increased, to 3.77 percent from 3.76 percent. It hit its lowest point since the survey began in 1991 two weeks earlier at 3.57 percent.
A slew of economic reports that were released this week support an improving economy, which could convince investors to shift money into riskier investments and away from safer Treasurys, driving up their yields.
Mortgage rates had been at or near historic lows since April, when Greece’s debt problems fueled jittery investors to pour money into Treasurys.
The low rates did little to spur home sales, though, because would-be homebuyers are too concerned about their jobs or can’t qualify for a mortgage. Others can’t sell their home before buying another.
In a hopeful sign, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that applications for mortgages to buy homes rose to the highest level since May last week from the previous week. However, the previous week included the Veterans Day holiday and the survey didn’t make an adjustment for the extra day in the latest week.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac collects rates from lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week. Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a single day.