Mortgage Rates Rise on Jobs, Housing Numbers

The rate for the most common type of home mortgage ticked up slightly this week.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The rate for the most common type of home mortgage ticked up slightly this week, boosted by glimmers of hope in the job and housing markets.

Freddie Mac

(FMCC.OB)

said on Thursday that the rate for 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 4.35% over the past week, up 3 basis points from the previous week. Rates for shorter-term mortgages were mixed, with 15-year fixed rates remaining stable, five-year adjustable rates up slightly and one-year ARMs trending lower.

It was the first weekly rise in 30-year fixed rates in nearly three months and only the third time those rates have risen since mid-April. The government has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars to ensure that rates stay low, hoping to sustain an economic recovery that has recently been thrown into question.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist, pointed to a host of economic data last week that came in better than market expectations. A Labor Department report showed growth in private, non-farm payrolls last month, while estimates for June and July were upwardly revised. Additionally, pending sales of existing homes rose in July - an encouraging offset for reports of sharp declines of completed sales of new and existing homes.

In a nod to recent market sentiment - not-horrible news has effectively become the new good news - Nothaft called the jobs report "somewhat sanguine" and the pending-home-sales report "a hopeful sign that existing home sales picked up toward the end of summer."

--Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York.

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