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Mortgage rates trend higher

June 6, 2013 at 11:49 AM

WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- Average U.S. mortgage rates for long-term loans rose for the fifth consecutive week in the week ended Thursday, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.

Interest rates for 15-year loans topped 3 percent for the first time in a year, the mortgage broker Freddie Mac said, as hints the U.S. Federal Reserve may pull back on its $85 billion per month asset purchasing program set rates on an upward trajectory.

Prior to the five-week stretch, interest rates had dropped for six consecutive weeks.

In the current week, average rates on 30-year fixed rate loans rose from 3.81 percent to 3.91 percent with an average 0.7 point, Freddie Mac said.

Average rates for 15-year fixed rate loans rose from 2.98 percent to 3.03 percent with an average 0.7 point.

Average interest rates for five-year adjustable rate mortgages rose from 2.66 percent to 2.74 percent with 0.5 point, Freddie Mac said. And one-year adjustable rate mortgages using 10-year bonds as a benchmark averaged 2.58 percent with 0.4 point in the week, up from 2.54 percent in the previous week.

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.

"Continuing market concerns that the Federal Reserve may slow its bond purchases amid a strengthening economy added upward pressure on mortgage rates this week," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

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