Long-term mortgage rates were virtually unchanged this week, according to surveys conducted by mortgage buyer Freddie Mac and Bankrate.

In Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.72 percent for the week ended today, up from 5.68 percent last week. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.03 percent, up from last week’s average of 4.97 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.6.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.61 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from 3.59 percent last week.

“Shrugging off statements by the Fed last week, mortgage rates remained relatively more stable than bond market yields,” said Amy Crews Cutts, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “Without a key indicator that would move it one way or another, the financial market is in something of a state of limbo.

“The prime missing ingredient to sustainable growth is jobs, so January’s employment report, due out tomorrow, may just be the sign that is needed to help the market decide which way to go.”

Mortgage rates were relatively unchanged one week after the Federal Reserve rate-setting committee deleted promises about keeping interest rates low for a considerable period, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 5.72 percent. The mortgages in this week’s survey had an average of 0.35 discount and origination points.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage popular for refinancing edged upward from 5.02 percent to 5.05 percent. The jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched 1 basis point higher to 5.96 percent, and the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage reversed last week’s move, rising 3 basis points to 3.68 percent. A basis point is one one-hundredth of one percentage point.

After initially rising following the Jan. 28, Fed announcement, mortgage rates settled back as financial markets digested the news. Further economic releases over the past week, such as the 4 percent rate of economic growth between October and December, reinforced the notion that the Fed is unlikely to boost interest rates prematurely. Little prospect of immediate interest-rate hikes has calmed the nerves of bond investors, and returned long-term bond yields to the familiar territory of one week ago. Mortgage rates are closely related to the yields on long-term government bonds.

The following is a sampling of Bankrate’s average 30-year-mortgage interest rates this week in some U.S. metropolitan areas.

New York – 5.78 percent with 0.05 point

Los Angeles – 5.69 percent with 0.64 point

Chicago – 5.82 percent with 0.14 point

San Francisco – 5.8 percent with 0.27 point

Philadelphia – 5.23 percent with 0.11 point

Detroit – 5.63 percent with 0.49 point

Boston – 5.79 percent with no points

Houston – 5.67 percent with 0.63 point

Dallas – 5.67 percent with 0.64 point

Washington, D.C. – 5.67 percent with 0.55 point


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