The latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) from Freddie Mac indicates that home loan interest rates are on the rise, thanks to upbeat employment news that has the Federal Reserve optimistic. Although higher rates are generally bad news for homeowners who are interested in refinancing their loans, mortgage refinance still makes sense, especially for those who live in the right real estate markets.

Rates Jump Slightly

Freddie Mac's most recent survey reported that average 30-year fixed rates jumped .04 percent since its last report, while 15-year rates ascended .03 percent. According to the federally-run corporationís vice president, Frank Nothaft, a positive employment report issued in February created upward pressure on U.S. Treasury bond yields, and higher rates inevitably followed.

On March 13th, the Federal Reserve's policy committee announced that it expects unemployment to decline in a manner that will ultimately encourage moderate long-term rates and stable prices.

Mortgage Refinance Remains an Option

Although rates seem to be ascending, refinancing is still smart for homeowners looking to save on costly interest charges by paying off their homes earlier. According to the PMMS, 15-year rates currently average 3.16 percent as opposed to last year at this time, when they averaged 3.97 percent.

There's also plenty of opportunity if you are looking to lower your mortgage payments by moving from a 15-year loan to a 30-year plan. The PMMS estimates 30-year mortgage rates at 3.92 percent as opposed to this time in 2011, when they averaged 4.76 percent.

Consider your Real Estate Market

Before you consider mortgage refinance, it's important to understand that the PMMS only provides an estimate of national rates based on a few telephone surveys. If you live in a city supporting a struggling housing market, your rates may be higher. Additionally, if your home value has diminished, you may not qualify for a new loan.

That said, many real estate markets have recovered well enough to offer existing homeowners a chance to save money by securing new loans with lower interest charges. To get the best deal, applicants should shop around and get several offers from multiple lenders.