U.S. mortgage rates inch higher

Dec. 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Interest rates on long-term, fixed-rate mortgages were slightly higher in the week ending Thursday, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.

Interest rates rose on positive data from the housing sector. The government said housing constructions starts in November rose to the highest level since February 2008.

In the week, rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 4.42 percent to 4.47 percent with an average 0.7 point.

A year ago, rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.37 percent.

Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 3.43 percent to 3.51 percent with an average 0.6 point in the week. A year ago in the same week, 15-year, fixed-rate loans averaged 2.65 percent.

Among the shorter-duration loans, rates for five-year Treasury-indexed, hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.96 percent this week with an average 0.4 point. Rates a week ago averaged 2.94 percent. A year ago, they averaged 2.71 percent.

Rates for one-year, Treasury-indexed, adjustable-rate loans averaged 2.57 percent in the week, up from 2.51 percent in the previous week. One-year loans averaged 0.5 point.

Last year over the same period, rates for one-year, adjustable-rate loans averaged 2.52 percent.

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.

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