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Home loan rates edge higher

October 29, 2009 |  9:04 am

Mortgage rates continued to drift higher this week, according to the latest survey from Freddie Mac, which reported today that the average interest on a 30-year fixed-rate loan was 5.03%.

That was up from a flat 5% a week earlier and an all-time low of 4.87% in the week that ended Oct. 8. The surveys assumed that borrowers with good credit were making a down payment of at least 20% and paying  0.7% of the loan amount to the lender in upfront charges.

Rates on shorter-term fixed mortgages and adjustable-rate loans also edged higher, Freddie Mac said. For 15-year fixed-rate loans, often used by older borrowers seeking to pay off their mortgages faster, the rate this week was averaging 4.46% with 0.6% of the loan balance paid in lender fees and points, up from 4.43% with similar upfront costs a week earlier.

For the full year, 30-year fixed rates have averaged just below 5% thanks to intervention by the government. Rates that low are unprecedented since Freddie Mac began its survey in 1971, propelling a refinance boom. Seven of every 10 mortgages this year have been refinancings, Freddie Mac economist Frank Nothaft said.

-- E. Scott Reckard