Mortgage Rates Creep Upwards

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WASHINGTON – Rates on 30-year mortgages climbed for the second straight week, but remain near the lowest levels in decades, according to Freddie Mac.

The average rate for the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.37% this week, from 4.35% last week; while the average for the 15-year loan dipped slightly to 3.82%, from 3.83%.

ARM rates moved slightly lower this week, with the average for the five-year ARM dipping to 3.55%, from 3.56%; and the average for the one-year ARM moving to 3.40%, from 3.46% last week.

“Interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have remained below 5 percent for the last 19 weeks, giving people ample opportunity to refinance their existing mortgage debt,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac. “As a result, homeowners reduced their financial obligations relative to disposable personal income during the second quarter of 2010 to the lowest share in almost eight years, according to the Federal Reserve.”

A report earlier this week from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed the refinance market is losing a little steam. Mortgage refinance applications declined 10.8% last week while purchase applications fell 0.4%. Refinances still account for four out of every five applications.


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