Mortgage rates were up for the third straight week on news that durable-goods orders improved in April, Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com reported today.

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 6.42 percent this week from 6.37 percent a week ago, and the rate on the 15-year fixed gained from 6.06 percent to 6.12 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.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said the growth in orders to U.S. factories fueled the rate gains, and other “recent reports have indicated that economic growth outside of the housing market remains robust, with a healthy consumer sector and improving business spending.”

Costs for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were mixed this week, as the five-year Treasury-indexed ARM rose from 6.02 percent to 6.19 percent and the one-year ARM fell from 5.64 percent to 5.57 percent. Points on these loans averaged 0.5 and 0.6, respectively.

In Bankrate.com’s survey, mortgage rates increased for the fifth consecutive week, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising to the highest point since August — 6.47 percent. Discount and origination points on the 30-year loans averaged 0.26.

The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage, popular for refinancing, increased by a similar amount, to 6.21 percent, according to Bankrate.com. With larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate climbed to 6.68 percent. On adjustable loans, the average one-year ARM nudged higher to 6.09 percent while the 5/1 ARM jumped up to 6.37 percent.

Bankrate.com said mortgage rates had been confined to a narrow range of approximately one-third of a percentage point for nearly seven months, but they broke out of that range with this week’s move, as hopes for a Fed interest rate cut continue to wane. With several prominent economic releases on tap in the coming days, bond traders have sold positions ahead of time, pushing bond yields — which are closely tied to mortgage rates — upward.

Fixed mortgage rates have increased nearly one-third percentage point since mid-March, Bankrate.com reported. At the time, the 6.16 percent average on the 30-year mortgage meant a $165,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,006. With the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.47 percent, the same loan originated today would carry a monthly payment of $1,040.

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

New York – 6.47 percent with 0.03 point

Los Angeles – 6.53 percent with 0.41 point

Chicago – 6.59 percent with 0.04 point

San Francisco – 6.43 percent with 0.48 point

Philadelphia – 6.5 percent with 0.22 point

Detroit – 6.5 percent with no points

Boston – 6.53 percent with 0.06 point

Houston – 6.38 percent with 0.46 point

Dallas – 6.34 percent with 0.48 point

Washington, D.C. – 6.4 percent with 0.44 point

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