Average US 30-year mortgage rate rises to 4.19 percent

Published: Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 10:18 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 10:17 AM


            This Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, photo shows a house for sale, in Miami. On Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
This Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, photo shows a house for sale, in Miami. On Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Long-term US mortgage rates rose this week after three weeks of declines, marking their first increase of the year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans climbed to an average 4.19 percent from 4.09 percent last week. That was still sharply higher than a 30-year rate that averaged 3.65 percent for all of 2016, the lowest level recorded from records going back to 1971. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.79 percent.

The average for a 15-year mortgage increased to 3.40 percent from 3.34 percent last week.

Mortgage rates surged in the weeks since the election of Donald Trump in early November. Investors in Treasury bonds bid yield rates higher because they believe the president-elect's plans for tax cuts and higher spending on roads, bridges and airports will drive up economic growth and inflation.

That would depress prices of long-term Treasury bonds because inflation would erode their value over time, a prospect that caused investors to demand higher yields.

In the latest week, the price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond dropped, pushing up its yield.

Bond yields move opposite to prices and influence long-term mortgage rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.52 percent Wednesday from 2.42 percent a week earlier. The yield continued its steady march higher since Election Day Nov. 8, when it stood at 1.87 percent. It held steady at 2.52 percent Thursday morning.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage fell this week to 0.4 point from 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also slipped to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year loans eased to 3.20 percent from 3.21 percent. The fee was unchanged at 0.4 point.

Woman holding American flag dragged by protester in Boston

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 9:38 PM

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19:  Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned 'Free Speech Rally' on August 19, just a week after the violent 'Unite the Right' rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured. Although the rally organizers stress that they are not associated with any alt-right or white supremacist groups, the city of Boston and Police Commissioner William Evans are preparing for possible confrontations at the afternoon rally.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19: Protesters face off with riot police escorting conservative activists following a march in Boston against a planned 'Free Speech Rally' on August 19, just a week after the violent 'Unite the Right' rally in Virginia left one woman dead and dozens more injured. Although the rally organizers stress that they are not associated with any alt-right or white supremacist groups, the city of Boston and Police Commissioner William Evans are preparing for possible confrontations at the afternoon rally. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Boston “Free Speech” rally ended with 33 arrested and while police were very diligent about keeping the right-wing groups away from protesters, there were still isolated incidents of violence.

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A clip showed a woman holding an American flag as a protester tries to rip it from her hands. The woman held on to the flag and is dragged toward a group of people, some of whom are wearing masks. She then charges into the group, apparently to confront the individual who just tried to take her flag.

Eventually, others come to help and console her. The video was shown on Fox News where a commentator said, “You can’t grab something out of someone’s hand and drag them on the ground, that’s their property and that’s assault.”

The Boston rally has been relatively peaceful. A huge mass of counter-protesters marched through the streets, while only about 60 of the Alt-right protesters were in the park where the rally is being held.

Civil rights activist Dick Gregory dead at 84

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 10:43 PM

Comedian and Social Activist Dick Gregory died Saturday at 84.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Comedian and Social Activist Dick Gregory died Saturday at 84. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Noted comedian, actor and civil rights activist Dick Gregory has died at 84.

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His family confirmed the death Saturday through social media.

Gregory was hospitalized with a serious but stable condition, his son Christian said Thursday.

Gregory is survived by his wife Lillian and their 10 children.

33 arrested at ‘Free Speech’ rally in Boston, police say

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 2:16 PM
Updated: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 8:52 PM

Counterprotesters assemble at the Statehouse before a planned
Counterprotesters assemble at the Statehouse before a planned "Free Speech" rally by conservative organizers begins on the adjacent Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)(Michael Dwyer/AP)

A “free speech” rally in Boston Saturday afternoon drew a large crowd of counter-protesters.

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An estimated 15,000 counter-protesters marched through the city to Boston Common, where rally attendees gathered to deliver a series of speeches. 

Police arrested 33 people at the protest, officials said.

The rally ended abruptly, and attendees were escorted by police from the rally area. Tense clashes between rally attendees, counter-protesters and authorities occurred after the rally ended.

>> Tensions high in N.C. amid rumored KKK march

USS Indianapolis discovered after 72 years 

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 8:48 PM

The wreckage of the USS Indianapolis was discovered Friday. (Photo courtesy Paul Allen)
The wreckage of the USS Indianapolis was discovered Friday. (Photo courtesy Paul Allen)

The wreckage of the USS Indianapolis, which was torpedoed and sank during the final days of World War II, has been found 18,000 feet below the north Pacific Ocean.

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The discovery was made Friday by a team of civilian researchers led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, according to the billionaire’s website.

"To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role in ending World War II is truly humbling," Allen said in a statement.

The heavy cruiser was commissioned in 1932 and was active throughout the war. It was attacked by a Japanese submarine and sunk on July 30, 1945. It went down in 12 minutes, making it impossible to send a distress signal or deploy life-saving equipment. 

The wreckage of the USS Indianapolis was discovered Friday. (Photo courtesy Paul Allen)

Most of 1,196 sailors and Marines aboard survived the sinking, but died later due to exposure, dehydration and drowning. Of the 316 survivors, 22 are still alive.

When it was sunk, the USS Indianapolis had just completed a secret mission delivering components of the atomic bomb used in Hiroshima that brought an end to the war in the Pacific, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington.

Allen's 13-person team will continue to survey the site and tour of the wreckage in compliance with laws governing war graves.