NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Long-term mortgage rates edged higher for the seventh straight week, Freddie Mac said Thursday, boosted by inflation fears.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed to 6.04 percent, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ended March 31, up from last week when it averaged 6.01 percent.
Last year at this time, the rate on the 30-year fixed-rate loan stood at 5.52 percent.
The average 15-year mortgage rate averaged 5.58 percent, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.56 percent. A year ago, the 15-year rate averaged 4.84 percent.
"Financial markets currently are very inflation sensitive, putting upward pressure on mortgage rates," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist. "However, several economic indicators suggest that the economy isn't overheating and that inflation is relatively contained."
"Looking ahead into the spring home buying season, we don't expect mortgage rates to rise too much or too quickly in the near term. As a result, housing activity should stay on track for a strong 2005," Nothaft said.
Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.43 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from 5.35 last week.
There is no annual historical information for last year since Freddie Mac only began tracking this mortgage rate at the start of this year.
One-year adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.33 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.24 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.46 percent.
Freddie Mac's (down $0.70 to $63.20, Research) average mortgage rates are based on a survey of 125 lenders nationwide.
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