The average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate jumped this week to 7.41%, its highest level since Sept. 12, 1997, when it averaged 7.53%, Freddie Mac reported.

Freddie Mac's chief deputy economist, Frank Nothaft, attributed the jump from 7.23% to a report this week that April new-home sales rose 9.2%. The report sent interest rates higher on concerns that the economy is growing too quickly, he said.

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