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Fixed mortgage rates hold steady

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Fixed mortgage rates were essentially flat this week, while adjustable rate mortgages moved slightly higher, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

With Treasury yields soaring to a six-month high on Wednesday, home loan rates are likely to be pushed upward. The yield on a 10-year Treasury note rose 10 basis points to 2.37 percent, gaining a total of 27 basis points in three days.

The movement of the 10-year Treasury bond is one of the strongest indicators of where rates are headed. When yields rise, so do mortgage rates.

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The 30-year fixed-rate average remained at 3.87 percent with an average 0.6 point, the same as it was a week ago. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 4.14 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average dropped to 3.08 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.11 percent a week ago and 3.23 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average climbed to 2.59 percent with an average 0.2 point. It was 2.5 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were little changed for the week following mixed economic data before bond yields began moving higher Wednesday afternoon,” Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist, said in a statement.

“Although real GDP growth was revised down to a negative 0.7 percent annualized rate, the Institute for Supply Management reported a modest growth in the manufacturing sector in May. If the Wednesday surge of treasury yields persists, the impact on mortgage rates is likely to result in a bout of affordability shock to many housing markets across the country.”

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Meanwhile, mortgage applications fell for the sixth week in a row, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, sank 7.6 percent from the previous week. The refinance index plunged 12 percent, while the purchase index dropped 3 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 49 percent of all applications, the lowest level in a year.

The MBA also released the results of its most recent mortgage credit availability survey on Thursday. The index rose 0.5 percent in May, which indicates a slight easing of credit.

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