Industry News

Economy, energy boost real estate rates

Further interest-rate hikes expected

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Mortgage rates rose again this week on word that economic growth picked up in the first quarter and inflation is on the rise, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed to an average 6.43 percent for the week ended today, up from last week's average of 6.35 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate loan is 6.1 percent, up from last week's average of 6 percent. Points on the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.6 and 0.5, respectively. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 6.11 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 6.02 percent, Freddie Mac reported. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 5.57 percent, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.51 percent. "In the first quarter of 2006, it appears that economic growth picked up relative to the last three months of 2005. There is concern that the continue...