Mortgage rates rose for the sixth consecutive week in response to improving economic signs, according to surveys conducted by mortgage buyer Freddie Mac and Bankrate.

In Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.01 percent, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ended today, up from last week when it averaged 5.94 percent.

The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.35 percent, with an average 0.6 point, up slightly from last week when it averaged 5.25 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.75 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week when it averaged 3.69 percent.

“With financial markets more optimistic that the economy is expanding nicely, mortgage rates had nowhere to go but up this week,” said Amy Crews Cutts, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. “Then, as a result of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released today, the market began weighing which part of GDP it feels is most dominant, growth or inflation.

“Perhaps next week’s Federal Reserve Board meeting and the release of April employment numbers will help the market find a balance between the two influences.”

Mortgage rates increased for the sixth consecutive week, but barely, according to The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched higher, from 6.06 percent to 6.07 percent, according to its weekly national survey of large lenders.

The mortgages in this week’s survey had an average of 0.41 discount and origination points. In the past six weeks, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has increased from 5.41 percent to 6.07 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage popular for refinancing climbed from 5.37 percent to 5.4 percent. The jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed 2 basis points to 6.25 percent, while the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage dipped 1 basis point to 3.85 percent. A basis point is one one-hundredth of one percentage point.

After increasing sharply for several weeks, the pace of rising rates slowed to a crawl this week. Bond investors largely shrugged off economic reports showing rising consumer confidence and continued strength in the sale of both new and existing homes. Financial markets are in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the May 4 meeting of the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee and the May 7 monthly employment report.

The Fed’s economic assessment and the April employment report might reinforce each other, causing rates to fall sharply or rise steeply, or they could work at cross purposes and have only a minor effect on rates. Faced with the uncertainty, the mortgage market stayed in standby mode this week.

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

New York – 6.1 percent with 0.16 point

Los Angeles – 6.07 percent with 0.69 point

Chicago – 6.15 percent with 0.2 point

San Francisco – 6.12 percent with 0.53 point

Philadelphia – 6.04 percent with 0.25 point

Detroit – 5.94 percent with 0.5 point

Boston – 6.12 percent with 0.1 point

Houston – 6.1 percent with 0.53 point

Dallas – 6.03 percent with 0.58 point

Washington, D.C. – 6 percent with 0.55 point


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