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Freddie Mac says mortgage rates rise a bit

March 24, 2011 |  7:08 am

FRE logo Fixed mortgage rates edged higher this week on worries that inflation may increase, according to Freddie Mac's latest weekly survey of what lenders are offering consumers.

The survey, taken Monday through Wednesday, showed the offering rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged  4.81%, up from 4.76% the week before, with buyers paying 0.7% of the loan balance in upfront fees and points to lenders.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.04% with 0.7% in lender fees, up from 3.97% last week.

Variable-rate loans had slightly higher start rates as well, according to Freddie Mac.

The rates are extremely low by historical standards. Freddie Mac economist Frank Nothaft said they were up this week because the inflation data for February came in higher than expected.

Despite favorable mortgage rates, the news from the housing market has been poor, with homes sales down and new construction falling to a snail's pace.


New-home sales plunge in February to record low

California housing market slump persists through February

-- E. Scott Reckard