Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Rise for Second Week; 30-Year at 3.76 Percent

(Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

Mortgage rates edged higher for a second week, with Freddie Mac’s weekly survey showing that lenders were offering conventional 30-year loans at an average 3.76 percent, up from 3.69 percent last week.

This year’s low point came the first week of February, when Freddie’s widely watched survey showed the average rate for 30-year fixed loans had sunk to 3.59 percent.

The latest survey, released Thursday, pegged the average for a 15-year fixed home loan at 3.05 percent, up from 2.99 percent. The start rate for adjustable loans that are fixed for the first five years was unchanged at 2.97 percent.

The low rates have stoked the latest round of a series of refinance booms in recent years as homeowners seek to lock in cheap long-term funds.

No-cost loans, which don’t require borrowers to pay lender fees, discount points or charges for appraisals and title insurance, recently dropped to rates as low as 3.625 percent for a 30-year fixed mortgage, said Laguna Niguel loan broker Jeff Lazerson.

The rate has since risen to 4 percent for the no-cost mortgages, but borrowers who pay all third-party charges plus a point — 1 percent of the loan amount — can still get a 30-year fixed loan at 3.625 percent, Lazerson said.

Freddie Mac asks lenders early each week about the terms they are offering to solid borrowers seeking mortgages up to $417,000 that conform to guidelines set by Freddie and Fannie Mae, the other mortgage-finance giant.

The borrowers would have paid a little more than half of 1 percent of the loan balance in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain the fixed-rate loans. Payments for such services as appraisals and title insurance are not included.

The survey provides a consistent gauge of mortgage trends, but actual rates may change rapidly and are influenced by many factors, including the credit scores, debt loads and down payments of borrowers.