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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 08/23/2012

Mortgage rates inch higher again this week

Mortgage rates inched higher again this week, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate average rose for the fourth week in a row and now stands at 3.66 percent, up from 3.62 percent a week ago but down from 4.22 percent a year ago this week.

The 15-year fixed-rate average also went up slightly to 2.89 percent from 2.88 percent last week. It was 3.44 percent a year ago at this time.
The 30-year fixed rate average rose for the fourth week in a row. (Eric Audras - GETTY IMAGES/ONOKY)

Hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages were mixed. The one-year ARM fell to 2.66 percent from 2.69 percent a week ago. It was 2.93 percent a year ago this week.

The five-year ARM increased to 2.80 percent from 2.76 percent a week ago but down from 3.07 percent a year ago at this time.

“Fixed mortgage rates inched upward this week along with other long-term yields,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

“The Census Bureau reported that residential building permits were up in July, although builders slowed the pace of construction starts on one-family homes in July to the least since March while apartment and condominium building picked up to the most since April. Existing home sales rose in July from June’s eight-month low and the median sales price jumped 9.4 percent from a year earlier, representing the largest 12-month gain since January 2006. The price gain was broad-based, with annual increases registered in all four regions of the U.S. and led by a 24.5 percent increase in the West.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications declined as rates continued to increase. The market composite index, a measure of the loan application volume, fell 7.4 percent from the previous week. The refinance index was down 9 percent from the prior week to its lowest level since early July. The purchase index decreased 0.9 percent from a week ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity dropped to 80 percent from 81 percent a week ago.

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By  |  10:00 AM ET, 08/23/2012

 
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