Mortgage rates crept higher for the second straight week, buoyed by a Commerce Department announcement that retail sales for November were better than expected, Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com reported today in their weekly surveys. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased this week to an average 6.13 percent from 6.12 percent a week ago, and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage gained from 5.86 percent to 5.89 percent. Points, which are fees charged by lenders for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 on the 30- and 15-year loans. "What is interesting to note is that the 30-year (fixed-rate mortgage) this week is one-eighth of a percentage point lower than the 30-year (fixed-rate mortgage) was at this time last year," said Frank Nothaft, Fredd...
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