Mortgage rates still below 5 percent

AP News
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Posted: Dec 10, 2009 4:44 PM

Mortgage rates rose this week but still remained below 5 percent, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The average fixed rate on 30-year mortgages was 4.81 percent, up from a record-low 4.71 percent last week. Last year at this time, the average fixed rate for 30-year mortgages was 5.47 percent.

The Federal Reserve has kept rates around 5 percent this year by purchasing $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities in an effort to make home buying more affordable and bolster the housing market.

Low rates are leading more homeowners to call their brokers. Mortgage applications to buy a home rose 4 percent last week, while refinance applications jumped 11 percent from the prior week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates each week from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate, even within a given day.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 4.32 percent, from a record low of 4.27 percent last week.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.26 percent, up from last week's 4.19 percent. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages were 4.24 percent, down from 4.25 percent.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. The nationwide fee for loans in Freddie Mac's survey averaged 0.7 point for 30-year and one-year loans. The fee averaged 0.6 point for 15-year loans and 0.5 point for five-year mortgages.