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Author: Tory Barringer

Despite performing far better than anticipated, April jobs numbers weren’t enough to prop up fixed mortgage rates this week, market reports show.

In its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac clocked the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) at an average 4.21 percent (0.6 point), down from 4.29 percent and the lowest level since late last year. A year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.42 percent.

The 15-year FRM also moved down, dipping to 3.32 percent (0.6 point) from 3.38 percent in last week’s survey.

Adjustable rates were flat to down, meanwhile. For this week, Freddie Mac reported the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) remained unchanged at 3.05 percent (0.5 point), while the 1-year ARM slid down to 2.43 percent (0.4 point).

For its own weekly release, finance site Bankrate.com recorded the 30-year fixed at 4.37 percent, down from 4.44 percent, while the 15-year fixed was down to 3.45 percent from 3.51 percent previously. Also declining in Bankrate’s survey was the 5/1 ARM, which fell a basis point to 3.34 percent.

While a strong jobs report would typically give some lift to rates, analysts speculate that the underlying numbers beneath April’s report might have dulled any optimism the headline number created.

Surveyed for Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, Michael Becker, a mortgage banker at WCS Funding Group, explained: “The household survey, which is where the unemployment rate comes from, showed a loss of 73,000 jobs, and 806,000 people left the workforce. … When you combine tepid employment and income growth with geopolitical concerns in Ukraine, you get lower rates.”

For the next survey, 60 percent of commentators polled by Bankrate expect rates to remain more or less unchanged. The rest were split evenly between predictions of upward or downward movement.

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