Mortgage rates creeping up, but still low


It’s a buyers’ market. With the number of homes for sale, including new builds, re-sales and foreclosures, anyone looking to purchase a home has a smorgasbord of choices.

After a five-year boom, sales of both new and existing homes fell sharply last year. Lenders have tightened standards, but mortgage rates have dropped.

Those mortgage rates, which dropped recently to their lowest point in four months, are creeping up again, but they are still low.

This week a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged about 6.34 percent according to Freddie Mac, the mortgage company. That is the second lowest rate since mid-May.

The recent decrease in mortgage rates has sparked an increase in the number of mortgage applications. In addition, homeowners have rushed to apply for refinancing at the lower interest rates.

One popular choice for refinancing is a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, which averaged 5.98 percent this week.

Five-year adjustable rate mortgages averaged 6.21 percent while one-year ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) averaged 5.65 percent, essentially unchanged from 5.66 percent last week. The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points.

A year ago 30-year mortgages stood at 6.40 percent, 15-year mortgages were at 6.06 percent, five-year ARMS averaged 6.08 percent and one-year ARMs were at 5.54 percent.

Photo by Joyce Hollis