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Mortgage rates steady, Freddie Mac says; 30-year at 3.52% this week

March 07, 2013|By E. Scott Reckard
  • A Compton home on the market last month. Mortgage rates are holding steady, with solid borrowers getting 30-year fixed loans at about 3.5%, Freddie Mac says.
A Compton home on the market last month. Mortgage rates are holding steady,… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

Unlike the rampaging stock market, mortgage rates are in a holding pattern, with lenders offering the 30-year fixed loan this week at an average 3.52%, up from 3.51% last week, Freddie Mac said in its weekly survey.

The interest rate on a 15-year fixed loan, a popular choice for borrowers refinancing mortgages, held steady at 2.76%, Freddie said Thursday. Borrowers would have paid 0.7% of the loan amount in upfront fees to the lender.

QUIZ: How much do you know about mortgages?

The Dow Jones industrial average, which set new highs Tuesday and Wednesday, was up again Thursday  morning on news that initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped again last week and are near a post-Great Recession low.

The improvement in the economy is still too slow to trigger fears of a surge in prices, which could send interest rates higher.

“With gross domestic product growing only 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, inflation remains at bay and consequently mortgage rates low,” Freddie Mac's chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said in announcing the latest rate survey.

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