Mortgage rates rise slightly amid markets' Trump slump


Mortgage rates edged higher last week while continuing to stay below their recent highs.

If you're wondering why this gift of softer rates has fallen into borrowers' laps in recent weeks, look no further than the Trump White House.

Mortgage rates had risen sharply, in part because markets anticipated rapid cuts to taxes and regulation, coupled with increased spending on infrastructure. And the assumption was all of that would all spur growth and inflation.

But the administration's recent setbacks, including its stinging defeat on health care, have changed expectations for when those changes will actually happen.

"You might have some investors sort of reassessing how fast something like a tax cut could be put into place," said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist with the Mortgage Bankers Association.

That reassessment has reversed some of the gains in the stock market and has pushed mortgage rates down - though only temporarily. As the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates, the sub-4 percent mortgage rates borrowers enjoyed in 2016 aren't likely to return for the foreseeable future.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose last week to 4.30 percent from 4.29 percent, according to Bankrate's weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 3.83 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.31 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.14 percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.44 percent, and is 0.78 percentage points above the 52-week low of 3.52 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week's survey had an average total of 0.26 discount and origination points.

Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.89 percent. This week's rate is 0.41 percentage points higher than the 52-week average.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was flat at 3.49 percent.

The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.49 percent from 3.44 percent.

The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage rose to 4.23 percent from 4.22 percent.