Mortgage rates rose sharply this week as it became clear that war worries would become reality.
This week's rise in mortgage rates came after rates on 30-year mortgages set a new low last week for the fifth time this year. The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages this week was 5.79 percent, up from last week's record low rate of 5.61 percent, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly survey.
"Lack of uncertainty around the Iraq conflict caused bond market yields to reverse their downward spiral of recent weeks and mortgage rates followed in tandem," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist.
Last week's rate was the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking 30-year rates in 1971. Records that reach back earlier than Freddie Mac's indicate that the rate was the lowest since the early 1960s.
Rates on 30-year mortgages have been falling for much of this year. The last time 30-year mortgage rates went up was in the middle of January.
For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, rates averaged 5.11 percent, up from 4.93 percent last week, which marked the lowest rate since Freddie Mac began tracking 15-year mortgages in 1991.
On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, rates rose this week to 3.75 percent, up from last week's 3.68 percent.
This week's rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year and one-year ARMs each carried an average fee of 0.6 points, while 15-year mortgages carried an average fee of 0.5 points.
AWARDS . . . The Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute gave its Humanitarian Association of the Year Award to Heritage Hunt Homeowners Association for charity programs in Northern Virginia.
EVENTS . . . Celebrity Chefs Night, sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, is to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Martin's Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center Dr., Greenbelt. Builders and associate members are to cook. A builders expo, featuring products and services, also is scheduled. Fee: $65 per member; reservations required. To register, call 301-445-5406. For directions, call 301-474-8500. . . . The National Green Building Conference is scheduled for March 30 through April 1 at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 700 Aliceanna St., Baltimore. The conference is to include tours, lectures, products and demonstrations. The National Green Building Awards are included in the three-day program. Fee: $350 for convention, $175 for a day. For information, call 888-602-4663; Web site: www.nahbrc.org . . . Olvia Demetriou and associate Ira Tettelman of Adamstein & Demetriou Architects are to discuss their firm's award-winning projects during a program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 31 at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, Washington. Recent projects include interiors at the Washington restaurants Poste, Zola and Zaytina. The fee is $17; registration is required. For information, call 202-272-2448; Web site: www.nbm.org.
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