NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -
Mortgage rates edged higher in the latest week but activity in the housing market is expected to remain busy next year.
The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.32 percent, from last week's 6.26 percent, a Freddie Mac survey said.
In the year-ago period, the 30-year mortgage averaged 5.71 percent.
The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.87 percent, up from last week's 5.81. A year ago, the loan averaged 5.14 percent.
Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.78 percent, compared to 5.76 percent the previous week. There is no data available for a year-to-year comparison because Freddie Mac only began tracking the 5-year loans this year.
One-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.16 percent, unchanged from the week before. At this time last year, the one-year loan averaged 4.15 percent.
"Looking back at 2005, 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates averaged just about the same as they have for the last two years," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
"Since the 30-year fixed rate is the most popular mortgage product by far, these low rates helped the housing market set records for home sales and new construction over the last three years," he added.
Looking ahead, Nothaft expects rising mortgage rates to ease housing activity somewhat.
"So although 2006 will not be another record-setting year, it will likely beat the previous record for home sales and new construction set in 2003. In other words, 2006 will be another busy year for the housing sector," he said.
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