Mortgage rates hover near lowest levels for the year


(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

Mortgage rates held steady last week, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Mortgage chart July 24

The 30-year fixed-rate average was unchanged from the previous week at 4.13 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 4.31 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average ticked up to 3.26 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 3.23 percent a week ago and 3.39 percent a year ago.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages also showed little movement. The five-year ARM average edged up to 2.99 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.97 percent a week ago and 3.16 percent a year ago. The five-year ARM has stayed below 3 percent for five straight weeks.

The one-year ARM average remained at 2.39 percent with an average 0.4 point, the same as it was a week ago.

Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, noted that although the rates were little changed, there was some optimism in the housing market.

“We received some good news on housing with existing home sales climbing 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in June, the highest pace since October 2013,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, mortgage applications increased last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, rose 2.4 percent. The refinance index jumped 4 percent, while the purchase index climbed 1 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 54.4 percent of all applications, its highest level since March.

Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.

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