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Fixed mortgage rates increase slightly in week ending March 28

Freddie MacLast week, Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, revealing average fixed mortgage rates have increased slightly but still remain at near-historic lows.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.57 percent, a slight increase from the previous week average of 3.54 percent. During the week ending March 28 last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.99 percent. The 15-year FRM averaged 2.76 percent, increasing slightly from 2.72 percent in the week ending March 21. Last year’s 15-year FRM for the week ending March 28 was 3.23 percent.

Additionally, the five-year adjustable rate mortgage average rose from 2.72 percent in the week ending March 21 to 2.76 percent for the week ending March 28. The average for the same week last year was 2.90 percent. One-year ARMs averaged 2.62 percent, a slight decrease from 2.63 percent for the week ending March 21. The one-year ARM averaged 2.78 percent last year for the week ending March 28.

“Low and relatively steady mortgage rates are invigorating the housing market,” Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “For instance, existing home sales over January and February experienced the strongest two-month pace since November 2009, while new home sales were the strongest since August and September 2008. This strong demand helped push the Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index (seasonally adjusted) in January to its highest reading since December 2008. Moreover, the number of consumers expecting to purchase a home over the next six months rose to 5.6 percent in March, the highest share since data was first collected in February 1964…”

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