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Mortgage rates creep higher
Freddie Mac sees long-term rates marching steadily upward if the Fed continues to raise rates.
August 4, 2005: 11:34 AM EDT
Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 3.80%
15 yr fixed 3.20%
5/1 ARM 3.84%
30 yr refi 3.82%
15 yr refi 3.20%

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mortgage rates crept higher this past week, with long-term rates seen moving up if the Federal Reserve continues to raise the overnight bank lending rate, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 5.82 percent for the week ending Thursday, with an average 0.5 point payable up front, up from 5.77 percent the previous week, according to the mortgage finance firm's survey.

Last year at this time, the rate on the 30-year fixed-rate loan stood at 5.99 percent.

"Long-term mortgage rates will more than likely rise over the next few months, albeit modestly compared to shorter-term rates," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

"As the Federal Reserve increases its targeted overnight-lending rate, home-equity loans will become more costly. This is because many home-equity loans are tied to the prime rate, which generally follows every Fed rate hike. Currently, the prime rate is 6.25 percent and is expected by many to rise to 6.50 percent next week," Nothaft said.

The 15-year mortgage rate rose to 5.38 percent, with an average 0.6 point payable up front, up from 5.34 percent the week before. A year ago, the loan averaged 5.40 percent.

Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) rose to an average 5.30 percent, with an average 0.7 point payable up front, up from last week's 5.27 percent.

One-year adjusted-rate mortgages edged higher to an average 4.47 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from 4.46 percent last week.

At this time last year, the one-year adjustable-rate loan averaged 4.08 percent.

Nothaft anticipated that the popularity of adjustable rate mortgages will decline due to the uncertainty of future monthly payments.


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