Mortgage Rates Rise in Week

Mortgage rates rebounded this week, after the steepest four-week decline since October 2003.

The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased by 20 basis points to 5.68% during the week ended Thursday, according to a survey by Freddie Mac ( FRE). (A basis point is 1/100th of a percentage point.) Discount fees remained at 0.4 point. The rate remains far below last year at this time, when 30-year FRMs averaged 6.34%.

The movement in mortgage rates broadly followed changes in Treasury bonds over the week, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a release. Long-term Treasuries generally respond to the market views on inflation and other economic expectations.

The increase came despite the Federal Reserve's 50-basis-point cut in the target federal funds rate, the second cut in two weeks. But while mortgage rates fell on news of the first surprise 75-basis-point cut, the second didn't seem to exert as much downward pressure. "This cut was in line with market expectations," said Nothaft.

Other mortgage rates also gained on the week.

Rates on 15-year FRMs increased 22 basis points to 5.17% with an average 0.4 point; rates on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages increased 19 basis points to 5.32%, with an average 0.4 point; and the rates on one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs grew 6 points to 5.05% with an average 0.7 point.

Freddie Mac surveys lenders about rates on conventional mortgages of less than $417,000 to borrowers with good credit.

The survey doesn't reflect rates on jumbo loans of over $417,000 or loans to borrowers with weak credit.

Freddie Mac's numbers are averages. You can search for the best rates offered by lenders in your area on BankingMyWay.com. Just make sure you understand whether the lender is discounting the rate it quotes you by charging a "point," or fee, based on the size of the loan.

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