Mortgage rates edge up slightly

Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages rose slightly this week, inching above 5 percent, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.01 percent this week, up from 4.98 percent last week. Last year at this time, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.25 percent.

Rates fell to a record low of 4.71 percent set in early December. They’ve been held around 5 percent by a Federal Reserve program to pump $1.25 trillion into mortgage-backed securities to try to keep rates low and make home buying more affordable. That program is set to end March 31.

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Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a given day, often in line with long-term Treasury bonds.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose slightly to 4.40 percent from 4.39 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.27 percent, up from 4.25 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 4.22 percent from 4.29 percent.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. The nationwide fee for loans in Freddie Mac’s survey averaged 0.7 point for 30-year and 15-year mortgages. It averaged 0.6 point for five-year loans and 0.5 point for one-year loans.

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