Mortgage rates were up this week, Freddie Mac reported today in its latest survey, but were still lower than a year ago.
The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 6.13 percent from last week’s 6.03 percent, while the average 15-year fixed mortgage jumped from 5.47 percent to 5.6 percent. A year ago, rates on the 30- and 15-year loans averaged 6.14 percent and 5.88 percent, respectively.
"However, for the first 11 weeks so far this year, the average 30-year fixed rate is still below 5.9 percent, and the average 30-year rate in January was the lowest since July 2005," Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said in a statement.
To qualify for these rates, borrowers must pay points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, which this week averaged 0.5 on the 30- and 15-year loans.
According to Freddie Mac, the average rate on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) rose to 5.58 percent from 5.34 percent a week ago, and average rates on one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs gained from 4.94 percent to 5.14 percent. Points on the 5- and one-year loans averaged 0.6 and 0.7, respectively.
"The combination of lower house prices and lower mortgage rates contributed to a more affordable market for home buyers," Nothaft said. "The National Association of Realtors reported that January’s Pending Home Sales Index held unchanged from December, contrary to the consensus expectation of a 1 percent slide, signaling that existing-home sales in February could hold steady from January’s level."
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