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Freddie Mac says mortgage rates are up again

December 2, 2010 |  8:08 am

Home-sales-illinois-span Mortgage rates have moved higher for a third straight week, according to a survey released Thursday by giant loan buyer Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac said lenders were offering 30-year fixed mortgages at an average 4.46% this week to well-qualified borrowers who paid 0.8% of the loan amount in upfront fees.

The survey bottomed out last month at 4.17%. Last week it stood at 4.40%.

The rising rates have caused a decline in  applications to refinance homes, according to a report Wednesday from the Mortgage Bankers Assn.

Frank Nothaft, a vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said mortgage rates are following bond yields higher. The trend stems from recent reports suggesting the economy may be stronger this quarter than the previous quarter, Nothaft said.

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-- E. Scott Reckard

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