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Mortgage Rates Pull Away From Record Lows

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) — Average fixed mortgage interest rates for 30-year contracts rose from record lows in the week, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Thursday.

Rates for 30-year contracts rose from 3.88 percent with 0.7 points to 3.98 percent after setting record lows for three consecutive weeks.

A year earlier, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.8 percent.

The 15-year fixed rate in the week rose from 3.17 percent to 3.24 percent with 0.7 points. In the same week of 2011 the average rate for 15-year loans stood at 4.09 percent.

Five-year adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.85 percent for the week with an average 0.7 point, up from 2.82 in the previous week, but down from 3.7 percent in the same week a year earlier.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable rate mortgages were unchanged in the week, holding steady at 2.74 percent with 0.6 points.

Mortgage rates “ticked up this week as the housing market ended 2011 on a high note,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

“New construction of one-family homes rose 4.4 percent in December to an annualized rate of 470,000, the most since April 2010. Existing home sales increased 5 percent at the end of the year to 4.61 million houses, the largest amount since May 2010,” he said.

In addition, pending home sales in November and December rose to levels not seen since March and April 2010, he said.


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