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Some key mortgage rates climb

FRIDAY, DEC. 28, 2007

WASHINGTON – Rates on 30-year and one-year mortgages climbed this week, while rates on some other home loans didn’t budge.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.17 percent this week. That was up from 6.14 percent last week and was the highest since the week of Nov. 21, when 30-year rates stood at 6.20 percent.

Just three weeks ago, 30-year rates had dipped below 6 percent, edging down to 5.96 percent, the lowest level in more than two years.

Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 5.53 percent this week, compared with 5.51 percent last week.

Analysts blamed the rise in these rates on worries about inflation. Economic reports last week showed both a big jump in consumer spending and a big pickup in inflation for November.

That “caused long-term bond yields to inch up over the end of last week and beginning of this week, with mortgage rates following,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac. Nothaft predicted consumer spending “will likely slow” given the problems in the housing and credit markets.

Other mortgage rates held steady.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.79 percent this week, unchanged from last week. And, rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages stood at 5.90 percent this week, also the same as last week.

Harder-to-get credit has made it more difficult for some would-be home buyers to secure financing for home and other big-ticket purchases. The more restrictive credit situation has deepened the housing slump, which is weighing heavily on national economic activity.

The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. A year ago, 30-year mortgages stood at 6.18 percent. Rates on 15-year mortgages were at 5.93 percent a year ago, while five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.98 percent and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages were at 5.47 percent.

The problems in housing are expected to persist well into next year.


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