Mortgage Rates Tick Up After Falling for Five Weeks

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Mortgage Rates
Gene J. Puskar/AP
WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly this week, reversing a five-week downward trend.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year loan edged up to 4.14 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage climbed to 3.23 percent from 3.21 percent.

Housing began to recover in 2012, but higher mortgage rates, tight credit and a limited supply of available homes have slowed momentum recently. Mortgage rates are about a quarter of a percentage point higher than they were at the same time last year.

U.S. home prices rose in April compared with a year earlier, but the increase was the smallest annual gain in 14 months, a report released Tuesday showed. Price gains have slowed this year as sales have faltered.

Data provider CoreLogic (CLGX) said that prices rose 10.5 percent in April from 12 months earlier. That is a healthy gain, but it is down from the pace in March and February.

And more Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in April than the prior month. But the pace of buying is still weaker than last year, according to recent data by the National Association of Realtors.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
  • The average fee for a 30-year mortgage fell a tad from a week earlier to 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-year loan held steady at 0.5 point.
  • The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate loan fell to 2.40 percent from 2.41 percent. The average fee remained at 0.4 point.
  • The average rate on a five-year adjustable mortgage declined to 2.93 percent. The fee rose to 0.4 point from 0.3 point.

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