Mortgage rates were mostly unchanged from the previous week with some home loan financing products inching marginally higher and others inching lower.  The bank mortgage rate survey measures the current rates and costs for six mortgage loan products weekly, among these six products three loan products ended the week more costly and three were cheaper.  For the overall holiday-shortened week, mortgage interest rates moved very little.

The market forces pushing and pulling mortgage rates and the stock market are generally seen as the weaker than anticipated economic news combined with stable inflation data and very aggressive action by the Federal Reserve.  The Fed’s quantitative easing program is keeping interest rates low and fueling the stock market. Spikes in interest rates and dips in the equity markets are generally coinciding with concerns over the strength of the economy and inflation. 

While mortgage rates may normally rise when the economy is picking up steam, the stock market should also rise.  In the current environment, the market is especially tuned into signs of growth and rising inflation since these signals may force the Fed’s hand to lay off the throttle and curtail the monetary easing.  The end of monetary easing is expected to lead to higher interest rates and cause concern for the stock market as much of its fuel will be taken away.

Fed comments, inflation reports and signs of continued economic strength have and will most likely continue to spark concerns that the central bank could slow or stop buying bonds sooner than the equities market have expected.

As t week ending February 22 came to a close, the mortgage moved higher and then retreated to end with little change.  The average 30 year mortgage rate in the current bank mortgage rate survey barely moved, rising by less than one basis point to 3.688 percent from 3.679 percent in the week earlier.  One basis point is equal to .01 percent.

The shorter term 15 year, conventional loan was higher by an almost identical amount.  The average 15 year mortgage rate made a slight uptick to 2.867 percent from 2.860 percent in the previous week.

The ten year mortgage rate was unchanged on the week with the average rate holding at 2.803 percent.  20 year term mortgages decreased on the week.  The average 20 year mortgage dropped to 3.590 percent from 3.611 percent in the week before.

FHA mortgage rates and jumbo mortgage rates also moved modestly lower week over week.  The 30 year FHA rate ended the week at 3.525 percent after closing the previous week at 3.538 percent.  Jumbo mortgage rates slipped down to 3.885 percent from 3.912 percent in the prior weekly survey.

To review the latest mortgage rates and loan costs form the top bank mortgage lenders in this week’s bank mortgage rate survey dated February 22, 2013 see the following mortgage rate tables: 30 year mortgage rates, 15 year mortgage rates, 20 year mortgage rates, 10 year mortgage rates, FHA mortgage rates and jumbo mortgage rates.

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