30-year mortgage rate hits 2006 high
Rates on 15-year and adjustable-rate home loans also head higher in latest week, Freddie Mac says.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Mortgage rates rose slightly in the latest week, pushing long-term rates to their highest level this year.

The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.28 percent, up from last week's 6.24 percent, a Freddie Mac survey said. In the year-ago period, the 30-year mortgage averaged 5.62 percent.

The last time the 30-year loan was this high was in mid-December, when it averaged 6.30 percent, the mortgage finance firm said.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 5.91 percent, up from last week's 5.83 percent. A year ago, the loan averaged 5.14 percent.

The 15-year fixed loan last rose this high in July 2002, when it averaged 5.93 percent.

Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.95 percent, compared to 5.89 percent the previous week. The five-year loan averaged 5.05 percent last year.

One-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.36 percent, slightly above 5.34 percent from the week before. At this time last year, the one-year loan averaged 4.15 percent.

"So far this year, fixed-rate mortgage rates have risen only slightly," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. "Long-term mortgage rates are only marginally higher than they were two months ago."

"Housing start figures in January came in at the highest level in over three decades, due in part to the combination of low rates and a warmer climate across the country," he added.

On Thursday, the Census Bureau said housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 2.28 million homes in January, the highest rate since March 1973.


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