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Mortgage Rates Up But Still Under 5 Percent

""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com released the results of its ""Primary Mortgage Market Survey"":http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/release.html (PMMS) on Thursday, which showed that mortgage interest rates rose slightly this week, though they remain at historically low levels.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.87 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending April 9, 2009. Last week the 30-year FRM was 4.78 percent. Last year at this time, it averaged 5.88 percent.
According to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac VP and chief economist, ""Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have averaged below 5.0 percent for the last four weeks, which should keep homeowner affordability at record levels.
Freddie Mac reported that the 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.54 percent (0.7 point), up modestly from last week's average of 4.52 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM was 5.42 percent.
Based on Freddie's study this week, five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.93 percent (0.7 point). Last week the rate for 5-year ARMs came in at 4.92 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.56 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.83 percent this week (0.5 point), up from last week when they were 4.75 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM was 5.18 percent. According to Freddie Mac's survey, the 1-year ARM has not been lower since the week ending September 29, 2005, when it averaged 4.68 percent.
Nothaft commented, ""Given these low rates, housing demand has strengthened. Conventional mortgage applications both for refinancing and for home purchases have increased over the past five consecutive weeks ending April 3. Since the end of February, applications for home purchases were up about 22 percent and nearly 129 percent for refinancing, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.""
""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com, which reports weekly mortgage rates from the top 10 thrifts in the top 10 markets, reported a similar bump in home loan interest rates this week.
According to ""Bankrate's survey"":http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/mortgage-analysis.aspx, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 5.2 percent among the nation's top 10 lenders. The average 15-year FRM inched higher to 4.75 percent, and the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate clocked in at 6.76 percent. Bankrate also reported that ARMs were no exception to the rise, with the average 5-year ARM climbing to 5.27 percent and the 1-year ARM increasing to 5.26 percent. (Bankrate reported an average 0.47 fees and origination points across all loan products.)
Bankrate said in a press statement, ""After four straight weeks of declines in mortgage rates, the streak was broken. However, mortgage rates remain at levels not seen since the 1950s.""
Bankrate noted that home buyers, as well as homeowners who are refinancing, are benefiting from the initiatives of the Federal Reserve to purchase mortgage debt and government securities - efforts that have driven down borrowing costs. But the company cautioned that ""resurfacing economic pessimism amid corporate earnings could lead to a tug-of-war on mortgage rates, with the combination of increased government debt issuance and inundated mortgage lenders pulling rates in the opposite direction.""

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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