US mortgage rates rise, though remain historically low

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, file photo, real estate signs mark the lots near one of the new homes for sale in a development for new homes in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. On Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

WASHINGTON — U.S. mortgage rates rose this week as the economy showed signs of strength, which makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will raise its short-term rate next week.

The rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.94 percent from 3.9 percent last week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said. The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance, also increased, rising to 3.36 percent from 3.3 percent.

The five-year adjustable mortgage rate rose for the third straight week to 3.35 percent from 3.32 percent last week.

Shorter-term rates are rising more quickly than longer-term debt, and the gap between the 30-year mortgage and five-year has narrowed since the summer. As a result, more homebuyers are choosing the longer-term fixed rate, Freddie Mac said.

Even with the increase, the 30-year rate is down from the beginning of the year, when it stood at 4.13 percent. Any rate below 5 percent is low by historic standards.

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits is near a four-decade low and surveys of manufacturers and service firms point to healthy growth.

Federal Reserve policymakers meet next week and are widely expected to lift their short-term rate for the third time this year.

You may also interested in

Prosecutor: Police justified in shooting of Arkansas teen

Aug 10, 2017

A lawyer for the family of a 16-year-old fatally shot by police outside an emergency youth shelter in Arkansas says her office is conducting its own investigation after a state prosecutor said the officers were justified

Malaysia Air on rebound as missing flight search called off

Jan 17, 2017

Nearly three years after twin disasters took it to the brink of financial collapse, Malaysia Airlines' new CEO says an overhaul aimed at turning the ailing carrier around is going better than expected

Alabama irony: Democrats are the elephants in the room

Dec 7, 2017

In the Alabama Senate race, national Democrats and the liberal grassroots are treading lightly, trying not to sink Doug Jones' upset bid against Republican Roy Moore

People also read these

Prosecutor: Police justified in shooting of Arkansas teen

Aug 10, 2017

A lawyer for the family of a 16-year-old fatally shot by police outside an emergency youth shelter in Arkansas says her office is conducting its own investigation after a state prosecutor said the officers were justified

Malaysia Air on rebound as missing flight search called off

Jan 17, 2017

Nearly three years after twin disasters took it to the brink of financial collapse, Malaysia Airlines' new CEO says an overhaul aimed at turning the ailing carrier around is going better than expected

Alabama irony: Democrats are the elephants in the room

Dec 7, 2017

In the Alabama Senate race, national Democrats and the liberal grassroots are treading lightly, trying not to sink Doug Jones' upset bid against Republican Roy Moore