By Dean Seal
Mortgage rates inched higher this week, extending a sharp rise that started earlier this month, according to housing-finance agency Freddie Mac.
In the week ending Thursday, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged higher to 5.81% from 5.78% last week. A year ago this week, the average rate was 3.02%.
Average 15-year rates were 4.92%, up from 4.81% a week ago and 2.34% a year ago.
The average rate on a five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, was 4.41%, up from 4.33% last week. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 2.53%.
"Fixed mortgage rates have increased by more than two full percentage points since the beginning of the year," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "The combination of rising rates and high home prices is the likely driver of recent declines in existing home sales. However, in reality many potential homebuyers are still interested in purchasing a home, keeping the market competitive but leveling off the last two years of red-hot activity."
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires