Mortgage rates surge to 10-week high but a dovish Fed may quash that move

A big move up follows several weeks of grinding higher, yet the 30-year fixed rate still held below 4%

Rates for home loans jumped in the latest week following a smaller rise in U.S. Treasury yields, mortgage provider Freddie Mac said Thursday, yet they remain pinned below the closely watched 4% threshold.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.91% in the Oct. 12 week, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.21%. Both products rose six basis points during the week. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.16%, versus 3.18% during the prior week.

Mortgage rates fell below the key 4% line in early July and have remained there even as the current week’s move marked the fifth-straight week of increases or flat readings. Most housing experts expected mortgage rates to move above post-crisis lows during 2017, but so far the benchmark 30-year fixed has averaged just 4.01% this year.

Unsettled geopolitics are keeping demand for safe assets like government paper high, which pushes yields down. The 10-year Treasury TMUBMUSD10Y, +1.10%  , which mortgage rates track, may resume its slide in the coming week in the wake of a more dovish tone from the Federal Reserve than investors had anticipated.

Published: Oct 13, 2017 by Andrea Riquier