Mortgage rates around the country rose this week but remain at a level that should continue to support the housing market.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.62 percent for the week ended July 7, Freddie Mac said Thursday, up from last week's 5.53 percent, which had marked the lowest rate since early April 2004.

"Although mortgage rates ticked up this week, the 30-year mortgage rate -- apart from a brief two-week stint in March -- [has] stayed below 6 percent all year," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "As a result, the housing industry is likely headed for another record-breaking year," he said.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing a home mortgage, averaged 5.20 percent this week, up from 5.12 percent last week.

For one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, rates rose to 4.33 percent this week, from 4.24 percent last week. Rates on five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.19 percent this week, up from 5.06 percent.

Low mortgage rates are also rekindling refinancing activity. Refinancings accounted for 45.7 percent of all mortgage loan applications filed last week, up from 45.4 percent the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The nationwide averages for mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year mortgages carry an average fee of 0.6 point; the other three mortgage categories each had a fee of 0.7 point.

EVENTS . . . Programs sponsored next week by the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, Washington, include a lecture and a construction-watch tour.

* The lecture, "A View from the Hill: Reflections on the National Politics of Smart Growth," is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the museum. Mariia Zimmerman of Reconnecting America/the Center for Transit Oriented Development, is to discuss views and opportunities for advancing smart-growth policies in Congress. The free program is worth one continuing-education credit.

* The tour, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 16, takes place at the Suitland Federal Center, 5200 Auth Rd., Suitland, Md. The tour is of the 208,000-square-foot satellite facility for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, designed by 2005 Pritzker architecture prize winner Thom Mayne, and the nearby two-building complex for the U.S. Census Bureau, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Jag Bhargava, project executive with the General Services Administration, is to lead the tour. The program is worth 3.5 continuing-education credits. A museum membership, $50 annually, is required for participation; advance prepaid registration is $30.

For information or to register for the lecture and the tour, call 202-272-2448; Web site:

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