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Mortgage rates climb in week

March 28, 2013 at 7:05 PM

WASHINGTON, March 28 (UPI) -- U.S. mortgage rates rose in the week, but low rates are still fueling a recovery in the housing market, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Thursday.

Rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 3.54 percent with an average 0.8 point to 3.57 percent, Freddie Mac said.

Rates for 15-year contracts rose from 2.72 percent to 2.76 percent with an average 0.7 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 rose to 2.61 percent with an average of 0.6 points from 2.68 percent.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages using 10-year bonds as a benchmark, averaged 2.62 percent with 0.3 point in the week, down from 2.78 percent in the previous week.

"Low and relatively steady mortgage rates are invigorating the housing market. For instance, existing home sales over January and February experienced the strongest two-month pace since November 2009, while new home sales were the strongest since August and September 2008," said Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

"Moreover, the number of consumers expecting to purchase a home over the next six months rose to 5.6 percent in March, the second highest share since data was first collected in February 1964, according to The Conference Board," Nothaft said.

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