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Mortgage rates inch higher, Freddie Mac says

February 23, 2012|By E. Scott Reckard
  • Fixed rates for home loans have moved slightly higher after dropping to record lows, according to Freddie Mac's survey of lenders.
Fixed rates for home loans have moved slightly higher after dropping to… (Genaro Molino / Los Angeles…)

Fixed mortgage rates are edging up from their record lows, this week’s market surveys indicate.

Freddie Mac’s widely watched sampling of the rates lenders are offering to well-qualified borrowers  showed the average for a 30-year fixed loan at 3.95% for the week ending Thursday.  In the three previous weeks, the rate had been at an all-time low of 3.87%.

The 15-year fixed mortgage averaged 3.19%, up from 3.16% last week. Popular with refinancers, the 15-year loan had bottomed out at 3.14% in the Freddie Mac survey for the week ending Feb.  2.

The start rates on adjustable mortgages fell slightly, according to the report by Freddie Mac, a giant government-backed buyer and seller of home loans.

Freddie Mac makes a weekly check of the deals that lenders are offering on residential mortgages of up to $417,500 to borrowers with good credit, 20% down payments or equity in their homes, and income sufficient to make monthly payments.

Borrowers in the survey would have paid less than 1% of the loan balance in lender fees and points to obtain the rates. Paying additional up-front points can lower mortgage interest rates.

A Mortgage Bankers Assn. survey this week also showed rates slightly on the rise.  The trade group said demand for both purchase and refinance loans had dropped slightly last week.

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