Mortgage Rates Inch Up,Again

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McLEAN, Va. - (03/31/06) -- Mortgage rates rose slightly thisweek, for the third week in a row, according to Freddie Mac. Theaverage for the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to6.35% this week, from 6.32% last week; while the average for the15-year, fixed-rate loan rose to 6%, from 5.97%. ARM rates alsomoved higher again, with the one-year ARM average rising to 5.51%this week, from 5.41% last week; and the five-year ARM rate goingto 6.02%, from 5.96%. Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaftattributed this week's rise in rates to the Fed's action liftingthe overnight Fed Funds rate by 25 basis points again, to 4.75%.The Fed raised rates this week, as was expected, but the market wasa little surprised at the (Open Market) Committee's comments, whichimplied more tightening in the future, said Nothaft. That raisedthe expectation that inflation may be more of a threat than waspreviously thought, and that kind of thinking promotes upwardpressure on mortgage rates like we saw across the board thisweek.

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