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Mortgage Rates Start 2014 on the Up and Up

Mortgage rates began 2014 with a round of increases, kicking off a trend many experts believe will continue through the rest of the year.

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""""Freddie Mac's"""":http://www.freddiemac.com/ weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.53 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending January 2, up from the last week of 2013, when it averaged 4.48 percent. A year ago, the 30-year FRM was at 3.34 percent.

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The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.55 percent (0.7 point), climbing from 3.52 percent. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also saw an increase, rising to 3.05 percent (0.4 point) from 3.00 percent. The 1-year ARM was flat at 2.56 percent (0.5 point).

Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, cited three major factors behind the week's increases: rising """"consumer confidence"""":http://www.themreport.com/articles/us-consumer-confidence-bounces-back-2013-12-31 as reported by the Conference Board, a strong showing for home prices in the most recent """"S&P/Case-Shiller Indices"""":http://www.themreport.com/articles/home-prices-jump-136-in-october-2013-12-31, and a slight gain in """"pending home sales"""":http://www.themreport.com/articles/pending-home-sales-steady-in-november-2013-12-31 for November--all of which served as """"signs of a stronger economic recovery,"""" he said.

Meanwhile, finance site """"Bankrate.com"""":http://www.bankrate.com/ reported on the findings in its weekly survey, putting the 30-year fixed at 4.69 percent--up 6 basis points--with the 15-year fixed at 3.73 percent--up 3 points. The 5/1 ARM was up to 3.52 percent, nearly 10 basis points up, Bankrate reported.

""""Mortgage rates finished 2013 more than a full percentage point higher than where they began,"""" Bankrate said in a release. """"While mortgage rates are still below September's high point of the year, they did finish 2013 near the upper end of this year's range.""""

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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