The Wall Street Journal

26 August  2011

Mortgage rates in the U.S. followed Treasury bond yields higher over the past week as a series of reports showed improvement in the housing market, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

A report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed its national house-price index rose for the third consecutive month, while the Mortgage Bankers Association reported its delinquency rate for mortgages more than 90 days past due fell for the sixth consecutive quarter, according to Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.22% for the week ended Thursday, up from 4.15% the previous week, though below last year’s rate of 4.36%. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.44%, compared with 3.36% last week and 3.86% a year earlier.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.07%, down slightly from 3.08% last week and 3.56% a year ago. One-year Treasury-indexed ARM rates averaged 2.93%, compared with 2.86% in the prior week and 3.52% a year earlier.