Thursday, March 31, 2005

Real estate rates hold steady this week

Freddie Mac shows slight increase; Bankrate survey sees small dips

Mortgage rates continued to move up this week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey, but eased to slightly lower levels in Bankrate's weekly survey of large lenders.

In Freddie Mac's survey, rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.04 percent, with an average 0.7 points, for the week ending today, up from 6.01 percent last week. Rates on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.58 percent, with an average 0.7 points, up from 5.56 percent last week.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.43 percent this week, with an average 0.7 points, up from 5.35 last week. And rates for one-year ARMs averaged 4.33 percent, with an average 0.8 point, up from 4.24 percent last week.

"Financial markets currently are very inflation sensitive, putting upward pressure on mortgage rates," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist. "However, several economic indicators suggest that the economy isn't overheating and that inflation is relatively contained."

He added, "Looking ahead into the spring home buying season, we don’t expect mortgage rates to rise too much or too quickly in the near term. As a result, housing activity should stay on track for a strong 2005."

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