Mortgage rates rise, even in a weak economy

Mortgage rates increased this week as yields on government bonds spiked. Still, rates will likely stay low down the road as an economy recovering from a severe winter keeps the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates too soon.

Housing picture mixed

After last week’s good housing data, the state of the home market looked more conflicted this week. New home sales disappointed in March, falling 11.4 percent, while the volume of mortgage applications fell 2.3 percent last week from the previous one, according to the National Mortgage Bankers Association. That included a 4 percent decline in refinances and a flat reading on purchase applications.

Those downbeat reports were balanced out by Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index on April 28, which showed values in 20 cities increased in February 0.9 percent month over month (seasonally adjusted) and 5 percent year over year (non-seasonally adjusted). Pending home sales for April edged up 1.1 percent, the third straight month of increases, according to an April 29 report from the National Association of Realtors. More here.



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