NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Mortgage rates inched moderately higher this week, but remained at very affordable levels for homebuyers, mortgage firm Freddie Mac said Thursday.
For the week ending Feb. 12, interest rates on a 30-year fixed loan averaged 6.77 percent, compared to last week's 6.75 percent. Fifteen-year loans climbed to 6.40 percent from last week's average of 6.38 percent. One-year adjustable rates bucked the trend, averaging 5.58 percent, which is down from last week's 5.63 percent.
A year ago, the 30-year rate averaged 7.06 percent, the 15-year stood at 6.65 percent and the one-year was 5.58 percent.
"With the unemployment rate at a low of 4.3 percent and mortgage rates remaining at present affordable levels, we expect the housing market to continue to be strong into the coming months," said Frank Nothaft, deputy chief economist for Freddie Mac.
On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors said the national median price of existing homes jumped to $131,000 in the fourth quarter, up from $124,800 a year earlier. This 4.9 percent increase was well above the inflation rate of 1.9 percent during the same period.
Median home prices were highest in the West at $174,400, followed by $148,200 in the Northeast. The Midwest and South saw home prices during the fourth quarter at $114,400 and $115,300, respectively.
Freddie Mac said lenders charged an average 1.0 percent in fees and points on 30-year, 15-year and adjustable mortgages.