Thursday, March 17, 2005

Real estate rates hit 7-month high

Inman News
Consumer Real Estate News

Long-term mortgage rates continued their upward climb this week, reaching highs not seen since August 2004, according to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage survey.

Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.95 percent, with an average 0.7 points, for the week ended today, up from last week when it averaged 5.85 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.47 percent, up from last week when it averaged 5.38 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.7.

Five-Year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.31 percent this week, with an average 0.7 points, up from 5.22 last week.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.2 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when they averaged 4.24 percent.

"The 30-year mortgage rate in February was uncommonly low and the weather tame across much of the country. That combination pushed housing starts in February to a 21-year high," said Amy Crews Cutts, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. "But we will probably see some moderation in the housing sector as mortgage rates slowly rise in coming months.

"Meanwhile, oil prices hit a record high while inventory of gasoline and heating oil was lower than expected. This raises the fear of inflation, which kept continued upward pressure on interest rates and helped fuel the rise in mortgage rates for the fifth continuous week."

The following is a sampling of Bankrate's average 30-year-mortgage interest rates this week in some U.S. metropolitan areas.

New York – 5.96 percent with 0.19 point

Los Angeles – 6.06 percent with 0.48 point

Chicago – 6.11 percent with 0.03 point

San Francisco – 6.06 percent with 0.23 point

Philadelphia – 5.88 percent with 0.29 point

Detroit – 5.96 percent with 0.25 point

Boston – 6.05 percent with no points

Houston – 6 percent with 0.6 point

Dallas – 5.99 percent with 0.43 point

Washington, D.C. – 5.91 percent with 0.54 point

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