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Rates are increasing

August 28, 2011

Fixed mortgage rates edged up this week from their lowest levels in decades. But couple of have been in a position to capitalize on them.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to four.22 percent, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That’s up from 4.15 percent last week, the lowest level on records dating to 1971.

The typical rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a well-known refinancing option, rose to 3.44 percent. Last week it fell to three.36 percent,

Mortgage rates normally track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Yields rose this week as investors shifted cash back into stocks. The stock markets had been much more stable following a turbulent stretch. Bond yields rise as their costs fall.

Still, low rates have not been adequate to revive the weak housing marketplace. Mortgage applications to acquire a residence fell last week to a 15-year low, based on the Mortgage Bankers Association.

High unemployment and fear that the nation might be on the verge of an additional recession have left a lot of people hesitant to purchase a home in Cape Coral.

Other people cannot qualify for the low rates. Their credit is too weak to meet banks’ tighter lending standards. Numerous banks are requiring bigger down payments. Some potential homebuyers are stuck in properties which are worth much less than the existing mortgage.

More than the past year, the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 5 percent for all but two weeks. Yet sales stay unhealthy.

Sales of new houses are on pace to finish the year as the lowest on records dating back to 1963. The pace of re-sales is shaping up to be the worst in 14 years.

Residence prices haven’t fared much much better. Considering that the peak with the housing boom in 2007, homes have lost almost a third of their value.

The weak housing market has been a drag on the economy. And with out much more jobs, the housing market is unlikely to recover any time soon.

To calculate typical mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the nation Monday through Wednesday of each and every week.

The typical rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to three.07 percent. That is the lowest rate on records dating to January 2005. It was the fourth straight week of record lows for this kind of loan.

The average rate for the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.93 from 2.86 percent. Last week’s typical was the lowest on records going back to 1984.

The rates do not consist of added fees called points. 1 point is equal to 1 percent with the total loan amount.

The average fees for the 30-year, 15-year and 5-year loans held steady at 0.7 point, 0.6 point and 0.five point, respectively. The average fee on the one-year adjustable mortgage fell to 0.5 point from 0.7 point.

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