Job report puts pressure on mortgage rates

May 12, 2011 at 11:39 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) -- Long-term mortgage rates fell in the week ending May 12 due to a "mixed" employment situation report, the U.S. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Thursday.

Average interest rates for 15-year and 30-year mortgages both dropped in the week ending Thursday with 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipping from 3.89 percent to 3.82 percent with 0.7 points. Average rates for 30-year mortgages dipped from 4.71 percent to 4.63 percent with 0.7 points, Freddie Mac said.

Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages a year ago stood at 4.3 percent. Rates for 30-year mortgages a year ago averaged 4.93 percent.

"Mortgage rates continued to decline this week following a mixed employment report," Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said. "The economy added a healthy number of 244,000 workers in April, the most in 11 months, and the figures for March and February were revised up by 56,000 more jobs. However, the unemployment rate rose to 9.0 percent from 8.8 percent in March and was the highest reading since January."

In addition, "Wages grew by only 0.1 percent, which was below the market consensus forecast," Nothaft said in a statement.

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