Long-term mortgage rates rise

Aug. 25, 2011 at 12:09 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Long-term mortgage rates rose during the week ending Thursday, the U.S. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. reported.

Interest rates were up after diving sharply in the previous week with turmoil in stock markets sending investors toward government bonds, which put benchmark rates lower.

Freddie Mac said the average interest rates for 15-year loans rose from 3.36 percent to 3.44 percent while interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans rose from 4.15 percent to 4.22 percent.

Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages a year ago stood at 3.86 percent. Rates for 30-year mortgages a year ago averaged 4.36 percent.

"Fixed mortgage rates followed treasury bond yields higher this week while data reports suggest an improvement in the housing market," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist.

Nothaft said there were other signs of improvement in housing, including a rise in the Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index, which rose for the third straight month in June.

"In addition, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that the serious delinquency rate -- 90 days or more plus foreclosures -- on mortgages outstanding fell for the sixth consecutive quarter at the end of June to 7.85 percent," Nothaft said in a statement.

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