War Effort Pushes Mortgage Rates Upward

March 21, 2003

Rise May Be Temporary As Other Factors Come To The Fore

McLean, VA - In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.79 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending March 21, 2003, climbing from 5.61 percent last week. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 7.14 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 5.11 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week's average of 4.93 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.65 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.75 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from 3.68 percent last week. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 5.11 percent.

(Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.)

"Lack of uncertainty around the Iraq conflict caused bond market yields to reverse their downward spiral of recent weeks and mortgage rates followed in tandem," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "But there are other uncertainties about the length of the conflict and its impact on the economy that will influence mortgage rates in the weeks to come, so this rise in rates may be only temporary."

The National Mortgage Rate Snapshot
This Week One Week Ago One Year Ago
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
5.79 5.11 3.75
0.6 0.6 0.6
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
7.14 6.65 5.17
0.7 0.7 0.7

Source: Freddie Mac

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