Freddie Mac reported today that fixed mortgage rates have increased for the second consecutive week. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.59 percent this week while the average 15-year fixed rate was 2.84 percent. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac, attributes the uptick to stronger-than-expected employment reports:
“Fixed mortgage rates inched up again this week following stronger-than-expected employment reports. The economy added 163,000 jobs in July, well above the market consensus forecast of 100,000, and the largest increase since February. In addition, the number of announced corporate layoffs fell 45 percent in July compared to last July and was the third time this year that announced layoffs were less than the same month in 2011 according to The Challenger Report. This suggests further net gains in employment are likely in the near future,” he said.