Long-term mortgage rates posted strong growth this week, hitting highs not seen since last July, as improving economic conditions both in the United States and abroad magnified inflation concerns, Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com reported today. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed to an average 6.74 percent from 6.53 percent last week, and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped to 6.43 percent from 6.22 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 on the 30- and 15-year loans. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also rose to 11-month highs this week, with the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM growing to 6.37 percent from 6.24 percent last week and the one-year ARM up from 5.65 percent to 5.75 percent. Points on these loans averaged 0.5 and 0.7, respectively. "Mortgage rates moved sharply upward this week, with rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumping more than 20 basis points, the larg...
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