Mortgage rates crept higher this week on news of slightly higher home construction levels in December and steady economic growth ahead, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to an average 6.25 percent from last week's 6.23 percent, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage held steady at 5.98 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge 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 percent this week, with an average 0.4 point, down from 6.04 percent last week. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.49 percent, with an average 0.5 point, down from last week's 5.51 percent. "Mortgage rates were mixed this week on news that December's leading indicators, a measure of future economic activity, signaled steady growth in the coming months," said Frank Nothaft, Fredd...
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