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Weekly Mortgage Rates Rise Above 5 Percent

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The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) increased this week, according to the results of two rate surveys. Freddie Mac (FRE) said the average rate for a 30-year FRM increased 12bps to 5.05% with a 0.7 origination point. Last week, the average was 4.93% and a year ago, the rate was 5.07%. Bankrate.com’s survey of large banks and thrifts put the 30-year FRM at 5.15% with a 0.44 origination point, up 4bps from 5.11% last week. “Interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages followed long-term bond yields higher and rose above 5% this week amid a mixed set of economic data reports,” said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft.  “For instance, the January producer price index jumped well above the market consensus, but the consumer price index remained subdued and consumer confidence declined to the lowest level since April 2009, according to the Conference Board.” Freddie said the 15-year FRM average rate was 4.4% with a 0.7 point, up from last week’s average of 4.33%, but below last year’s average of 4.68%. Bankrate.com put the same product at 4.52% with a 0.45 point. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.16% with a 0.6 point, down from last week’s average of 4.23%. A year ago, Freddie said the five-year ARM averaged 4.81%. Bankrate.com put the average rate for a five-year ARM at 4.53% with a 0.45 point, up from 4.51% last week. Freddie said the one-year ARM average rate was 4.15% with a 0.6 point, down from last week’s average of 4.23% and last year’s average of 4.81%. “There were also varying reports as to the current state of the housing market. The S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index rose for the third consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter, albeit at a slower rate, and the 20-city composite index showed an increase in December 2009 for the seventh month in a row; six metropolitan areas experienced positive year-over-year growth, compared to four in November,” Nothaft said. “New home sales, however, unexpectedly slowed in January to the smallest pace since records began in 1963, and the supply of homes at the current sales rate rose to 9.1 months, the most since May 2009,” he added. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.

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