Long-term mortgage rates moved higher this week on brighter economic news, Freddie Mac reported today. The average rate on 30-year fixed loans edged up from 5.85 percent to 5.88 percent, and the 15-year average climbed from 5.34 percent to 5.42 percent. By contrast, a year ago the 30-year averaged 6.17 percent and the 15-year averaged 5.87 percent. To qualify for these rates, borrowers must pay points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, which this week averaged 0.5 on the 30- and 15-year loans. "While prime, conforming rates still remain at historically low levels, long-term mortgage rates did drift slightly upwards this week on signs that the economy may have a little more strength than what financial markets forecasted," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. "For instance, consumer spending in the fourth quarter of 2007 was revised upwards in the final estimate ...
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