NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Mortgage rates have re-crossed a psychological barrier, with 30-year loans topping 7 percent for the first time in seven months, mortgage firm Freddie Mac said Thursday.
For the week ending March 5, interest rates on a 30-year fixed loan spiked to 7.06 percent, a substantial jump from last week's 6.89 percent and their highest level since May 29, 1998, when they averaged 7.07 percent.
Fifteen-year loans also hit recent highs, bounding to 6.7 percent from last week's average of 6.51 percent. This is the highest 15-year rates have been since June 12, 1998, when they averaged 6.71 percent.
One-year adjustable rates, though they showed the smallest week-to-week increase, are far from a safe haven. Adjustables averaged 5.74 percent, as opposed to last week's 5.71 percent. That is still the highest they have been since the week ended June 6, 1997, when they averaged 5.78 percent.
A year ago, the 30-year rate averaged 7.19 percent, the 15-year stood at 6.8 percent and the one-year was 5.7 percent.
"Given the current volatility in the market, this might be a good time for consumers who are refinancing or buying a home to lock in their rate," said Robert Van Order, chief economist for Freddie Mac. "Interest rates will probably be even higher in next week's survey."
On Monday, the government reported U.S. construction spending climbed at the fastest rate in seven months, though the bulk of that surge came from public money spent on highways and roads. Construction spending throughout the economy totaled $692.3 billion in January, a 1.6 percent increase.
Freddie Mac said lenders charged an average 1.0 percent in fees and points on 30-year, 15-year and adjustable mortgages.