Mortgage rates continued climbing this week, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.

According to Freddie Mac’s, rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.23 percent, up from last week’s average of 6.12 percent. Rates on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.81 percent, up from 5.7 percent. Points on each type of mortgage averaged 0.5 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.87 percent, with an average 0.5 point, according to Freddie Mac. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.33 percent, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.2 percent.

“Declines in worker productivity coupled with accelerating labor costs increase the threat of inflation down the road. Inflationary pressure generated by these two factors pushes long-term mortgage rates upward, which is why we have seen rates rise these last two weeks,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

“Mortgage rates will surely fluctuate in the weeks and months ahead, but the trend now is for higher rates over the long run,” he added.

Both fixed and adjustable mortgage rates increased for the second consecutive week in Bankrate’s weekly survey, with inflation news and the latest Fed interest rate hike the primary culprits.

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased from 6.17 percent to 6.28 percent, and the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate also jumped from 5.75 percent to 5.87 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgages were also on the rise, with the average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rising from 5.75 percent to 5.89 percent, and the average one-year ARM moving up to 5.56 percent from 5.5 percent.

Fixed mortgage rates bounced higher as rising energy prices and tight labor markets fueled concerns that even core consumer prices could rise further. The first look at economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2005 was well below expectations, but more troubling to bond investors was the news that the Fed’s favored inflation barometer increased at a 2.2 percent annualized pace during the fourth quarter — even after removing the effects of energy prices, Bankrate said.

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

New York – 6.24 percent with 0.31 point

Los Angeles – 6.33 percent with 0.48 point

Chicago – 6.43 percent with 0.03 point

San Francisco – 6.38 percent with 0.29 point

Philadelphia – 6.17 percent with 0.38 point

Detroit – 6.32 percent with no points

Boston – 6.31 percent with 0.15 point

Houston – 6.22 percent with 0.66 point

Dallas – 6.24 percent with 0.56 point

Washington, D.C. – 6.11 percent with 0.67 point


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