Mortgage rates hold steady
Average rates for 30- and 15-year loans unchanged on signs of consumer spending weakness and cooling inflation.
Mortgage rates hold steady -- Mortgage rates remained unchanged this week, Freddie Mac said Thursday, following a slowdown in consumer spending growth and a tame inflationary reading.
The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 6.16 percent for the week ending May 3, unchanged from the previous week, the mortgage finance firm said. Last year at this time, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 6.59 percent.
"The recently advanced report of first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was weaker than expected, growing only 1.3 percent. The housing market alone shaved a full percentage point off real GDP growth," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a prepared statement.
"Additionally, both consumer spending and price increases in consumer expenditures were quite tame in March. These contributing factors allowed mortgage rates to hold steady this week."
Consumer spending grew at its weakest pace in six months in March, Commerce Department reported Monday, climbing just 0.3 percent. The report also included a key inflation measure known as the core PCE price deflator, a measure closely watched by the Federal Reserve, which was flat during the month.
The rate on 15-year loans averaged 5.87 percent, unchanged from the previous week, Freddie Mac said. A year ago, the 15-year rate averaged 6.22 percent.
Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages eased to 5.87 percent from 5.88 percent last week. The five-year ARM averaged 6.21 percent a year ago.