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Mortgage rates stay low

Fixed mortgage interest rates were essentially unchanged this week, as the average rate on the 30-year fixed loan stayed below 5 percent.

Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 4.87 percent from 4.86 percent the previous week.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage increased to 4.10 percent from 4.09 percent.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.72 percent from 3.70 percent. The five-year hit 3.25 percent last month, the lowest rate on records dating back to January 2005.

The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate loan fell to 3.22 percent from 3.26 percent. Three weeks ago, the rate hit 3.17 percent, the lowest level on records dating back to 1984.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount. The average fee for the 30-year fixed loan, 15-year fixed loan and the 1-year ARM in Freddie Mac’s survey was 0.7 point. The average fee for the five-year ARM was 0.6 point.

Mortgage applications decreased 2 percent in the week ended April 1, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s index. The group’s refinancing measure fell 6.2 percent, while its purchasing gauge rose 6.7 percent to the highest level this year. The increase reflected a jump in demand for government loans as buyers tried to beat an April 18 increase in Federal Housing Administration insurance premiums, the group said Wednesday.

Low rates have done little to boost home sales. Los Angeles-based KB Home said Tuesday that its new home orders dropped 32 percent from a year earlier, while the number of homes it delivered tumbled 28 percent.

Last week, Lennar said new orders fell 12 percent in the same period and home deliveries slipped 3 percent.

— From news services

4.86% Last week 4.87% This week

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