#to #refinance #or #not
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In this May 6, 2013, file photo, a home is for sale in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. Freddie Mac reports on mortgage rates for the last week of May on May 30, 2013.
With fixed mortgage rates the highest in a year, homeowners may have missed the boat on the record-low mortgage rates of the last year, but there’s no need to panic if you’re still considering refinancing, said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac.
“Even if rates are up half a percentage point, they are still unbelievably low,” Nothaft said.
Rates are rising, says the Mortgage Bankers Association, “in response to stronger economic data and an increasing chance that the [Federal Reserve] may soon begin to taper their asset purchases.” The Fed for more than a year has been buying bonds to drive down interest rates and spur the economy.
As mortgage rates rise, it’s still hard to believe there were double digit 30-year mortgage rates through much of the 1980s, including 18.63 percent in Oct. 9, 1981. The lowest 30-year fixed-rate was 3.31 percent on Nov. 21, 2012.
Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.81 percent during the week that ended May 30, up nearly half a percentage point since the beginning of May when it averaged 3.35 percent. Last week, it averaged 3.59 percent and last year at this time it averaged 3.75 percent.
The 15-year rate averaged 2.98 percent, up from 2.77 percent the previous week and 2.97 percent a year ago.
Meanwhile, home prices rose the most since 2006, according to housing data released by S ?>