Freddie Mac: Weekly mortgage rates are a mixed bag, but housing market remains in fragile recovery

On December 20, mortgage lending giant Freddie Mac released its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, revealing mixed data.

According to the press release, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.37 percent, an increase from last week's 3.32 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, however, have gone down slightly from 2.66 percent to 2.65 percent.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said that although mortgage rates were mixed this week, there are other reasons to be optimistic about the housing market.

"The 12-month growth in the core consumer price index has remained between 1.9 and 2.1 percent for the past five consecutive months ending in November," Nothaft was quoted as saying in the company's press release. "Meanwhile, housing starts averaged the strongest three months in November since September 2008, and homebuilder confidence rose in December to its highest reading since April 2008."

This optimism further supports the article we wrote recently about the housing market's consistent improvement. As confidence among builders and buyers improves substantially, it appears that the industry will continue to see positive growth into the new year.

With interest rates at all-time lows, housing starts increasing and potential homebuyers finally beginning to feel like they have the money to purchase a property, now is a great time for people to start thinking about buying or selling a house.

It's a good idea for lenders to be proactive about the influx of borrowers they may face in 2013, and they can do that by investing in things like loan management software, which helps to ensure that borrowers maintain all of their monthly payments. An amortization calculator is another tool that lenders may find particularly useful, as it helps keep financial plans within borrowers' abilities.