Mortgage rates edged up this week to their highest level in 15 months, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.

In Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.1 percent, with and average 0.5 point, for the week ending Oct. 20. That was up from last week’s average of 6.03 percent. Rates on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.65 percent, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week’s average of 5.62 percent.

Meanwhile, five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.59 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.57 percent, according to Freddie Mac. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.89 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.85 percent.

Rising rates didn’t stop the housing market from growing, according to the secondary mortgage giant’s chief economist. “Despite the gradual rise in mortgage rates over the last two months, housing starts were actually up in September highlighting the resiliency of the housing market,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “As a matter of fact, housing directly contributed to real GDP growth of 19 percent in the first quarter of the year and 23 percent in the second quarter. To put this in perspective, this would compare to 17 percent of real GDP growth over all of 2004.

Mortgage rates climbed for the sixth consecutive week, hitting their highest level since July 2004, according to Bankrate’s weekly national survey of large lenders.

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased from 6.1 percent to 6.17 percent, according to Bankrate, with an average 0.31 discount and origination points. The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate climbed from 5.69 percent to 5.72 percent, and the average jumbo 30-year fixed-rate rose to 6.33 percent from 6.25 percent last week.

Adjustable rate mortgages did the same, with the average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage notching higher from 5.74 percent to 5.77 percent, while the average one-year ARM climbed from 5.07 percent to 5.16 percent.

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

New York – 6.15 percent with 0.21 point

Los Angeles – 6.22 percent with 0.48 point

Chicago – 6.25 percent with 0.01 point

San Francisco – 6.25 percent with 0.2 point

Philadelphia – 6.09 percent with 0.33 point

Detroit – 6.1 percent with 0.25 point

Boston – 6.21 percent with 0.1 point

Houston – 6.16 percent with 0.5 point

Dallas – 6.19 percent with 0.4 point

Washington, D.C. – 6.04 percent with 0.62 point


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