Industry News

Economy hikes mortgage rates

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Mortgage rates rose further this week on news of better-than-expected December retail sales and industrial production, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched up to an average 6.23 percent from last week's 6.21 percent, while the 15-year fixed mortgage rate gained from 5.96 percent to 5.98 percent. Points, which are fees charged by lenders for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 on the 30- and 15-year loans. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 6.04 percent this week, with an average 0.4 point, up slightly from last week when they averaged 6.03 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.51 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week's 5.44 percent. "Interest rates drifted slightly higher following the latest positive economic reports," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Shoppe...