Mortgage rates this week either barely budged or gained, depending on which survey you read from Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.

In Freddie Mac’s survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.26 percent for the week ended today, down slightly from last week’s average of 6.28 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 5.81 percent, unchanged from last week. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.5.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.76 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up very slightly from last week when it averaged 5.75 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 5.16 percent, with an average 0.8 point, also up very slightly from last week when it averaged 5.14 percent.

“Mortgage rates are in a holding pattern at the moment as financial markets try to discern where inflation and growth in the economy are headed,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Until the market decides these issues, mortgage rates should stay within a relatively narrow band.

“Current low mortgage rates, coupled with the higher 2006 conforming loan limits of $417,000, should help to keep the mortgage industry bustling as we head into the new year.”

In Bankrate.com’s survey, mortgage rates rebounded this week on strong economic news. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 6.32 percent to 6.36 percent, with an average of 0.26 discount and origination points.

Bankrate.com reported that the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate increased in a similar fashion, rising from 5.88 percent to 5.92 percent. The average jumbo 30-year fixed-rate nudged higher from 6.49 percent to 6.51 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages dipped slightly, with the average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage sliding from 5.85 percent to 5.81 percent, and the average one-year ARM slipping from 5.52 percent to 5.5 percent.

Mortgage rates increased this week after the release of several upbeat economic reports, according to Bankrate.com. Strong durable goods orders, new-home sales and a rebound in consumer confidence injected renewed worries about interest rates into the market. Yields on long-term government bond yields climbed, pushing mortgage rates higher.

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

New York – 6.32 percent with 0.3 point

Los Angeles – 6.38 percent with 0.51 point

Chicago – 6.44 percent with 0.05 point

San Francisco – 6.47 percent with 0.23 point

Philadelphia – 6.28 percent with 0.19 point

Detroit – 6.39 percent with no points

Boston – 6.4 percent with no points

Houston – 6.36 percent with 0.36 point

Dallas – 6.4 percent with 0.31 point

Washington, D.C. – 6.18 percent with 0.65 point

***

What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to opinion@inman.com.

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