WASHINGTON – Rates for 30-year and 15-year mortgages dipped this week, while rates for one-year adjustable mortgages rose.
The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages edged down to 7.14 percent, from 7.16 percent last week, according to a nationwide survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the mortgage company.
Rates on 30-year mortgages had fallen to 6.45 percent in early November, the lowest level since Freddie Mac began conducting its nationwide survey in 1971. While rates have moved higher since then, they are still considered low.
``With mortgage rates expected to stay near their current low levels, 2002 shows every promise of being another good year for housing,'' said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. Low mortgage rates during 2001 helped make the housing market one of the economy's few bright spots.
Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, slipped to 6.62 percent this week from 6.65 percent the week before.
A year ago, rates for 30-year mortgages averaged 7.07 percent and rates for 15-year mortgages averaged 6.74 percent.
On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.26 percent, up from 5.25 percent the previous week. Last year at this time, ARMs stood at 6.86 percent.
These rates do not include add-on fees known as points, which averaged around 1 percent of the loan amount for all three types of mortgages.