Mortgage rates hold steady
30-year mortgage averages 5.74 percent, while 15-year rate dips to 5.15 percent.
November 18, 2004: 12:03 PM EST

Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 4.48%
15 yr fixed 3.92%
5/1 ARM 4.34%
30 yr refi 4.49%
15 yr refi 3.90%

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mortgage rates held steady this week after a pair of economic reports gave mixed inflation signs.

The rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.74 percent in the week ended Thursday, with an average 0.6 of a point payable up front, down from an average 5.76 percent last week.

A year earlier, the rate on the 30-year fixed-rate loan stood at 6.03 percent.

The average for the 15-year mortgage rate fell to 5.15 percent, with 0.6 of a point up front, from last week's 5.16 percent. Last year, the average rate stood at 5.39 percent.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.17 percent, up from 4.16 percent the previous week, with 0.7 of a point payable up front. At this time last year, the one-year rate averaged 3.76 percent.

On Tuesday, the government reported that the producer price index (PPI), a measure of wholesale inflation, rose 1.7 percent in October after rising 0.1 percent in September. That was the biggest rise in 14 years and reflected the sharp recent run-up in energy prices.

Economists surveyed by thought PPI would rise 0.6 percent in October.

But the Consumer Price Index, the government's main measure of inflation released Wednesday, rose 0.6 percent in October, only slightly higher than forecast. That came as a relief to some investors who had worried about another spike in inflation following the PPI report.

But despite the mixed signals of resurgent inflation, a Freddie Mac economic said the housing market will remain strong.

"Because long-term mortgage rates are still well below the peak levels reached last May of this year, housing starts are currently exceeding expectations," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "With no dramatic rise in rates on the horizon, the housing industry should continue to be healthy well into the future.

Freddie Mac's (up $0.02 to $68.79, Research) average mortgage rates are based on a survey of 125 lenders nationwide.  Top of page

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