U.S. fixed mortgage rates were little changed this week, remaining below their recent high of 4.51 percent in mid-July, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The U.S. mortgage giant said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) edged up to 4.4 percent in the week ending Aug. 8, from 4.39 percent the previous week.
Since spiking more than a full percentage point in early May on speculation the Federal Reserve might begin to slow its bond purchases later this year, the average 30-year FRM has seesawed week-to-week, but remained well below the benchmark level of 6 percent, indicating homes would continue to be affordable by historical standards.
The 15-year FRM, a popular choice for those looking to refinance, remained unchanged at 3.43 percent this week.
"Mortgage rates were relatively unchanged following a mixed employment report for July," said Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. "Even though the unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in July, which was the lowest since December 2008, the economy added only 161,000 jobs, short of the market consensus forecast," he said.
Meanwhile, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable- rate mortgage (ARM) edged up to 3.19 percent, and the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM fell to 2.62 percent.