Long-term mortgage rates inched higher this week, easing the pace of real estate purchases, according to the latest survey from mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

In Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.32 percent for the week ended today, up slightly from last week when it averaged 6.3 percent.

The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.7 percent, up a little from last week when it averaged 5.67 percent. Point on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.5.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.13 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down slightly from last week when it averaged 4.14 percent.

“The recent increase in mortgage rates has given the housing market a slight breather from the frantic pace in lending that has been prevalent over the last few years,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “That said, housing starts, although down a little from the month before, were still remarkably strong in May with most of the decrease in overall construction coming from a drop off in multiunit building. Construction of new single-family homes, however, actually increased to the highest level since December.

“Given the current economic environment, we anticipate mortgage rates will remain at or near their current consumer-friendly levels at least for the remainder of the year.”

Fixed mortgage rates inched lower as fears of accelerating inflation were diffused, if only temporarily, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped from 6.36 percent to 6.35 percent, Meanwhile, the average one-year adjustable-rate mortgage increased from 4.32 percent to 4.37 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in this week’s survey had an average of 0.32 discount and origination points.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage popular for refinancing was unchanged at 5.75 percent, while the jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reversed last week’s move and inched 1 basis point lower to 6.53 percent. A basis point is one one-hundredth of one percentage point.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has fluctuated within a very narrow range since the week of May 12. In that period, the average rate has been between 6.34 percent and 6.37 percent. Fixed mortgage rates remained essentially unchanged when the Consumer Price Index, a common barometer for inflation, did not leap, as some had feared. Although the Federal Open Market Committee will not need to aggressively raise rates on June 30, it is likely to raise interest rates by one-quarter point.

As a result, yields for short-term Treasury bills and adjustable-rate mortgages continue to rise. Mortgage rates are closely related to the yields on government bonds. Long-term instruments tend to move well in advance of expected interest rate action, while short-term instruments move in closer concert to actual interest rate moves.

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

New York – 6.41 percent with 0.13 point

Los Angeles – 6.33 percent with 0.58 point

Chicago – 6.42 percent with 0.06 point

San Francisco – 6.36 percent with 0.35 point

Philadelphia – 6.36 percent with 0.22 point

Detroit – 6.3 percent with 0.26 point

Boston – 6.44 percent with 0.1 point

Houston – 6.29 percent with 0.53 point

Dallas – 6.34 percent with 0.43 point

Washington, D.C. – 6.28 percent with 0.51 point


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