Real Estate


Mortgage rates still inching higher
30-year climbs to 5.94% while 15-year jumps to 5.25%; one-year ARM holds at 3.69%.
April 22, 2004: 6:47 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mortgage rates continued to climb this week on further signs of inflation, but economists noted a few strong economic reports do not yet signal a sustainable economic recovery on all fronts.

Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 4.40%
15 yr fixed 3.81%
5/1 ARM 4.19%
30 yr refi 4.36%
15 yr refi 3.79%

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For the week ended April 22, the rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.94 percent, with an average 0.7 point payable up front, up from the previous week when it averaged 5.89 percent, according to mortgage finance firm Freddie Mac.

Last year at this time, the 30-year averaged 5.79 percent.

The 15-year mortgage rose to 5.25 percent from last week's 5.23 percent, also with 0.7 of a point payable up front. A year ago it was 5.12 percent.

The one-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.69 percent, unchanged from last week, with 0.7 of a point payable up front. A year earlier it averaged 3.79 percent.

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A report Thursday showing a bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. wholesale prices, combined with reports of higher consumer prices, stoked worries the Fed may have to boost rates to cool the rapidly rebounding economy.

"Although this past month's dramatic rise in mortgage rates is consistent with an economic recovery, it will take more than one month of strong employment gains to verify this recovery is sustainable," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist.

"The market is behaving as though the recovery is a fait accompli and has entered a volatile period of trying to outguess the Federal Reserve Board's next move," he added.

Freddie Mac's average mortgage rates are based on a survey of 125 lenders nationwide.

Freddie Mac
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Freddie Mac (FRE: up $1.15 to $58.69, Research, Estimates), or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., is a publicly traded company the government established in 1970 to provide a flow of funds to mortgage lenders. It buys mortgages from banks, bundles them and then resells them as mortgage-backed securities.

Its products, and the products of other similar entities, have become popular as an alternative to government-backed bonds, notably with international investors.  Top of page

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