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Mortgage Rates Friday, March 10: Moving Higher; Solid Jobs Report Tees Up Fed Rate Hike

March 10, 2017
Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year fixed and 15-year fixed rates moved slightly higher, while 5/1 ARM rates were unchanged today, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders on Friday morning.

The U.S. employment report issued this morning found payroll employment rising by 235,000 workers in February, above economists’ expectations of about 200,000 jobs.

Mortgage Rates Today, Friday, March 10:

(Change from 3/9)
30-year fixed: 4.52% APR (+0.02)
15-year fixed: 3.92% APR (+0.01)
5/1 ARM: 3.94% APR (NC)

Favorable jobs report tees up Fed rate hike

Today’s upbeat employment report sets the stage for the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates at next week’s meeting. The stock market has been spiking to record highs, unemployment is holding steady near 4.7%, and inflation is close to the Fed’s target rate of 2% — all factors moving the needle to a Fed rate hike.

» MORE: How much home can you afford?

Before this latest economic news, mortgage rates had already set 2017 highs, according to the NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index. However, in early Friday trading, the bond market was calm, with yields holding mostly steady. The 10-year U.S. Treasury, which closely mirrors mortgage rates, even slipped a bit lower this morning, after rising for the past seven consecutive days.

“The boosts to business and consumer confidence over the past few months is evidently leading to faster hiring,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, wrote in an early analysis. “The 235,000 net new job additions in February and 2.3 million over the past year will support home buying even in the face of higher mortgage rates.”

Yun also noted that the 58,000 additional jobs in construction was the highest monthly gain in over a decade. That could be good news for homebuilding, which has faced labor shortages in recent years.

Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae, also found little to fault in the report.

“With more new construction coming to market and improving jobs and wages, home sales should continue to expand as the Fed gradually normalizes monetary policy, which we expect to entail one rate increase next week followed by two additional rate increases this year,” Duncan said in a news release.

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published annual percentage rate with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. APR quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

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Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @halmbundrick.