WASHINGTON, Mar. 15 -- U.S. fixed mortgage rates inched up this week on stronger signs of jobs growth and consumer spending, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac Thursday.
The mortgage giant said that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) edged up to 3.63 percent in the week ending March 14, and the 15-year FRM, a popular choice for those looking to refinance, rose to 2.79 percent from the previous week's 2.76 percent.
Both were elevated from the record lows of 3.31 percent and 2.63 percent respectively. Since the beginning of this year, U.S. fixed mortgage rates have maintained a modest upward trend as the housing market bottoms out. But rates remained at an affordable level for house buying and refinancing.
In addition, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) fell slightly to 2.61 percent, while the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM went up to 2.64 percent.
"Fixed mortgage rates rose this week on stronger signs of job growth and consumer spending," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac.
"The economy added 236,000 new workers in February which helped push down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent. This helped offset the effects of the payroll tax holiday expiration and led to a 1.1 percent increase in retail sales," he added.