Mortgage Rates Move Up

Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates this morning, showing fixed mortgage rates moving higher from the previous week, but remaining near record lows.

Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages (FRM) currently average 3.42%, reversing last week's decline and rising to their highest level since Sept. 29, 2012. Fifteen-year FRMs now stand at 2.71%, up five basis points from last week.

The situation among adjustable rate mortgages is more stable. For the third week in a row, 5/1 ARMs are holding steady at 2.67%. One-year ARMs, meanwhile, held for the second straight week at 2.57% -- the same level at which they began the year.

Commenting on the numbers, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said, "fixed mortgage rates were up slightly over the holiday week but remain highly affordable and should continue to aid in the ongoing housing recovery."

Existing home sales increased 9.2% in 2012 over 2011 levels, a rate that Nothaft noted was the strongest pace in five years.

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