Mortgage Rates Climb Higher

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McLEAN, Va. - (04/07/06) -- Rates on 30-year mortgages rose thisweek to their highest level in 30 months, as the financial marketsbegan to show worry more about inflation. The average for the30-year, fixed-rate loan moved from 6.35% last week, to 6.43% thisweek, its highest since September 2003, according to Freddie Mac.The average for the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage also increasedfrom 6%, to 6.1%. ARM rates also continued to climb, with theaverage for the one-year ARM rising from 5.51% last week, to 5.57%this week; and the average for the five-year ARM moving from 6.02%to 6.11%. Analysts attributed the increase to a pickup in economicgrowth in the early months of 2006 and renewed concerns abouthigher energy prices. "There is concern that the continued highlevel of energy costs may lead to inflation in other sectors of theeconomy," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac."Fear of inflation leads to higher mortgage rates, like the ones wesee this week."

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