Mortgage Rates Reverse Slide

Rates on 30-year mortgages, after having fallen to a seven-month low, rose this week for the first time in five weeks.

Mortgage-giant Freddie Mac (FRE) reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.37 percent, up from 6.30 percent last week, which had been the lowest level since they were at 6.24 percent the first week of March.

Analysts attributed the increase to lingering fears in financial markets about inflation.

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"Renewed concern that inflation is still an issue put some upward pressure on bond yields, which generally translates into higher interest and mortgage rates," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

Nothaft said that adjustable rate mortgages were especially sensitive to the increased inflation worries. The increase in those rates narrowed the gap between adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages.

Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, averaged 6.06 percent last week, up from 5.98 percent last week.

Rates on one-year adjustable rate mortgages jumped to 5.56 percent, up from 5.46 percent last week.

Rates on five-year adjustable rate mortgages rose to 6.10 percent, up from 6.00 percent last week.

The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. The 30-year and 15-year mortgages each carried an average nationwide fee of 0.5 point. The one-year ARM had a nationwide average fee of 0.7 point and the five-year ARM carried a fee of 0.6 point.

A year ago, 30-year mortgages averaged 6.03 percent, 15-year mortgages stood at 6.06 percent, one-year ARMs were at 4.85 percent and the five-year ARMs were at 5.57 percent.

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