Mortgage rate climb stalls

Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:27 PM
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WASH, D.C., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- An upward trend in long-term U.S. mortgage rates stalled in the week that ended Thursday, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.

Long-term interest rates hit record lows in the week of Nov. 12. They have move erratically higher since then.

In the latest week, the trend stalled. Interest rates for 30-year loans held at 3.53 percent in the week with an average of 0.8 point, Freddie Mac said.

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 30-year, fixed-rate loans were at 3.87 percent in the same week a year earlier.

Interest rates for 15-year fixed rate loans dropped week to week from 2.81 percent to 2.77 percent with an average 0.7 points. The average rate for 15-year loans with fixed rates stood at 3.16 percent a year earlier.

Rates for five-year adjustable rate mortgages dropped from 2.7 percent to 2.63 percent with an average of 0.6 points. A year earlier, rates for these loans averaged 2.83 percent.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages using 10-year bonds as a benchmark, averaged 2.53 percent with 0.4 points in the week, down from 2.59 percent in the previous week.

One-year Treasury-indexed loans were at 2.78 percent in the same week of 2012.

"Mortgage rates were either unchanged or lower this week following a mostly positive employment data report for January," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

"The only downside to the report was that the unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 to 7.9 percent in January, which is still historically high," he said.

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