Mortgage Rates Keep Rising

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McLEAN, Va. - (05/26/06) -- Long-term mortgage rates movedslightly higher this week, maintaining four-year highs, accordingto Freddie Mac. The average for the 30-year, fixed-rate loan roseto 6.62% this week, from 6.60% last week, while the average for the15-year, fixed-rate mortgage inched up to 6.23%, from 6.20%. ARMrates dipped slightly. The average for the one-year ARM slipped to5.61% this week, from 5.62% last week; while the average for thefive-year ARM dipped to 6.21%, from 6.23%. The rising rates havedampened home sales, according to Frank Nothaft, chief economistfor Freddie Mac. "Total housing starts for April were the weakestsince November 2004, and although new home sales in April were thestrongest this year, the number of homes for sale hit a recordhigh. Meanwhile, existing home sales declined an expected 2%,further evidence of an easing in housing," said Nothaft.

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