Long-term mortgage rates inched up this week, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. In Freddie Mac's survey, the rate on 30-year fixed mortgages grew to an average 6.46 percent from 6.45 percent a week ago, and the 15-year fixed rose to 6.15 percent from 6.12 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.5 on the 30- and 15-year loans. In a prepared statement, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said the gains in long-term rates were slight because of smaller-than-expected increases in the core personal consumption expenditure price index (up 1.3 percent in second quarter) and consumer spending data (core price index gaining 1.9 percent year-over-year in July). Nothaft also cited sluggishness in home prices as contributing to the soft interest-rate increases, as Freddie Mac's recent Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index reported that U.S. home prices on average grew b...
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