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Mortgage Rates Move Little in Week
Mortgage rates were little changed in the week ending Thursday, taking a breather after the big moves of the previous two weeks.


The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.14%, up 3 basis points from 6.11% a week earlier, according to a survey by Freddie Mac (FRE) . A basis point is a hundredth of a percentage point.


Mortgage rates were also little changed from a year earlier, when 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 6.13%.


That was a welcome respite from the previous week, when mortgage rates jumped back up from two-year lows even after the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates.



Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which tend to track yields on 10-year Treasury bonds, did edge up early in the week following the release of inflation data that appeared to make it more difficult for the Fed to keep easing its benchmark interest rate. But mortgages rates drifted back down after fresh data suggested further weakening in the housing market.


The net effect left mortgage rates little changed this week.


"Both the producer- and consumer-price indexes jumped for the month of November, implying inflation may still be a threat to the economy while retail sales increased twice as much as market forecasts, reflecting healthy consumer spending," Freddie's chief economist Frank Nothaft says in a press release.


"At roughly the same time, single-family housing starts fell 5.4% in November to 829,000, the slowest pace since April 1991, and homebuilder confidence in December held for the third consecutive month at the lowest level since records began in January 1985."


Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.79% this week, up a tick from 5.78% a week earlier. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.89%.


Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, averaged 5.90%, up from 5.89% last week but down from 5.96% a year ago.


One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.51%, up from 5.50% last week and 5.44% a year ago.


Freddie surveys lenders about rates on conventional mortgages of less than $417,000 to borrowers with good credit. The survey doesn't reflect rates on jumbo loans of over $417,000 or loans to borrowers with weak credit.


Freddie's numbers are averages. You can search for the best rates offered by lenders in your area on Just make sure you understand whether the lender is discounting the rate it quotes you by charging a "point," or fee based on the size of the loan.


Mortgage Rates in Selected Cities
City Term Rate
Boston 30-year fixed 6.223%
New York 30-year fixed 6.125%
Miami 30-year fixed 6.25%
Chicago 30-year fixed 6.25%
San Francisco 30-year fixed 6.375%
--no origination fee / 20% down payment / excludes Internet banks / excludes credit unions / loans under $417,000

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