WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. fixed mortgage rates jumped to the highest level in the past two years this week on speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back bond purchases soon, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The U.S. mortgage giant said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ( FRM) rose to 4.58 percent in the week ending Aug. 22 from 4.40 percent in the prior week, spiking more than a full percentage point since early May.
The 15-year FRM, a popular choice for those looking to refinance, also rose to 3.60 percent this week from 3.44 percent for the previous week.
The two rates were both the highest since July 2011.
Fixed mortgage rates continued to follow bond yields higher because the Federal Reserve monetary policy committee members were broadly comfortable with a plan to start reducing its bond purchases later this year, said Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.
The Fed "acknowledged mortgage rate increases might restrain housing market activity, but several members expressed confidence the housing recovery would be resilient in the face of higher rates, Nothaft said.
In addition, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable- rate mortgage (ARM) edged down to 3.21 percent, and the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM remained unchanged at 2.67 percent.