Mortgage rates rise

March 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose in the week, a sign of market improvement, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Thursday.

Rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 3.52 percent with an average 0.8 point to 3.63 percent, Freddie Mac said.

Rates for 15-year contracts rose from 2.76 percent to 2.79 percent with an average 0.8 point.

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 five-year adjustable rate mortgages fell to 2.61 percent with an average of 0.6 points from 2.63 percent.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages using 10-year bonds as a benchmark, averaged 2.64 percent with 0.4 point in the week,up from 2.63 percent in the previous week.

"Fixed mortgage rates rose this week on stronger signs of jobs growth and consumer spending," said Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

"The economy added 236,000 new workers in February which helped push down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent. This helped offset the effects of the payroll tax holiday expiration and led to a 1.1 percent increase in retail sales, which was well above the market consensus forecast.," Nothaft said.

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