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Mortgage rates on rise, Freddie Mac says; 30-year fixed at 3.42%

January 24, 2013|By E. Scott Reckard
  • Freddie Mac's McLean, Va., headquarters. The government-backed mortgage finance giant says fixed home loan rates rose this week.
Freddie Mac's McLean, Va., headquarters. The government-backed… (Freddie Mac )

Interest rates on fixed mortgages rose this week, according to Freddie Mac, with lenders offering the 30-year home loan at an average 3.42%, up from 3.38% a week ago.

The rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular option for people refinancing home loans, was 2.71%, up from 2.66%. Borrowers would have paid 0.7% of the loan amount to lenders in upfront fees and points to obtain the rates, Freddie Mac said Thursday morning in its weekly report.

The government-backed finance giant said the starting interest rates on variable loans were unchanged.

Freddie Mac’s weekly survey asks lenders for the terms on mortgages they are offering to solid borrowers with 20% down payments, or 20% equity in their homes if they are refinancing. Third-party charges, such as for appraisals and title insurance, are not included.

Rates have been hovering near all-time record lows for months, as another rate tracker, HSH.com, noted. HSH Vice President Keith Gumbinger called it “wandering around directionless.”

“They continue backing and filling, waiting for clear signals that the economy is picking up steam or losing it,” Gumbinger said.

“With the tax bite from the 'fiscal cliff' solution just starting to show in paychecks, it's a fair bet that some slowdown in spending is likely. How much is anyone's guess at this point."  

ALSO:

Jobless claims drop to five-year low

Foreclosure rate drops across the nation

Homebuilding outlook cautiously optimistic

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