Mortgage rates hold steady

  1. Long-term mortgage rates remain around 5 percent, with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rising just a fraction this week.

    Freddie Mac, which has a regional office in Atlanta, said a 30-year fix averaged 5.01 percent in the week ending Feb. 4, up from 4.98 percent last week. A year ago, 30-year mortgages were averaging 5.25 percent.

    A one year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.22 percent, down from 4.29 percent last week.

    "Mortgage rates remained relatively stable for a second week amid news of a strengthening housing market," said Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) chief economist Frank Nothaft. "Residential fixed investment rose for two consecutive quarters over the last half of 2009 following a steady quarterly decline since the beginning of 2006."

    Pending sales of existing homes rose 1 percent in December, following a record drop in November, the National Association of Realtors reported earlier this week.

    A separate report from the Mortgage Bankers Association this week said mortgage applications for home purchases jumped 10 percent at the end of January.
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