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Mortgage rates climb in week

Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:02 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose in the week that ended Thursday, with the incline defining a new trend, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.

In the week, 30-year interest rates hit a high unseen since September. Coming off of a historic low reached Nov. 21. However, rates are perceptibly starting "to trend higher amid a growing economy led in part by the recovering housing market," Freddie Mac said.

In the week, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rate rose from 3.42 percent to 3.53 percent with an average 0.7 point, Freddie Mac said.

One point is equal to 1 percent of the amount of the loan and is typically paid up front. It includes a corresponding discount on the loan's long-term interest rates.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate loans were at 3.87 percent in the same week a year earlier.

Interest rates for 15-year fixed rate loans rose from 2.71 percent to 2.81 percent with an average 0.7 points. The average rate for 15-year loans with fixed rates stood at 3.14 percent a year earlier.

Rates for five-year adjustable rate mortgages climbed from 2.67 percent to 2.7 percent with an average of 0.6 points. A year earlier, rates for these loans averaged 2.8 percent.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages using 10-year bonds as a benchmark, averaged 2.59 percent with 0.5 points in the week, up from 2.57 percent in the previous week.

One-year Treasury-indexed loans were at 2.76 percent in the same week of 2012.

"Mortgage rates continued to trend upwards this week amid a growing economy led in part by the recovering housing market. For instance, new home sales totaled 367,000 in 2012, the most in three years and reflected the first annual increase in seven years," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

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