Mortgage rates seen stabilizing
30-year fixed-rated loan edges up to 6.32%; Freddie Mac says rates may hold fairly steady for now.
June 17, 2004: 11:57 AM EDT

Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 4.41%
15 yr fixed 3.81%
5/1 ARM 4.20%
30 yr refi 4.38%
15 yr refi 3.79%

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mortgage rates edged higher again in the latest week but may have peaked for now, mortgage financier Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.32 percent in the week ending Thursday, with an average of half a point payable up front, up slightly from 6.30 percent the previous week, Freddie Mac said.

A year ago, the rate on the 30-year fixed-rate loan averaged 5.21 percent.

The 15-year mortgage rate edged up to 5.70 percent from 5.67 percent, also with half a point payable up front. A year ago, it was 4.60 percent.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.13 percent, down slightly from 4.14 percent the previous week, with 0.7 of a point payable up front. A year ago the average rate for ARMs was 3.54 percent.

"The recent increase in mortgage rates has given the housing market a slight breather from the frantic pace in lending that has been prevalent over the last few years," Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft said in a statement.

"That said, housing starts -- although down a little from the month before -- were still remarkably strong in May with most of the decrease in overall construction coming from a drop off in multiunit building," Nothaft said, adding that single-family home building rose to its highest since December.

"Given the current economic environment, we anticipate mortgage rates will remain at or near their current consumer-friendly levels at least for the remainder of the year," Nothaft added.

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Freddie Mac

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

Freddie Mac (FRE: down $0.20 to $61.22, Research, Estimates), a publicly listed company the government established in 1970 to provide a flow of funds to mortgage lenders, buys mortgages from banks and 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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