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Mortgage Rates Climb to Highest Levels Since May

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The average APR for 30-year fixed rate mortgages climbed to 4.86 percent in the week ending December 30, 2010, up from the previous period’s 4.81 percent, according to the latest national statistics from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. However, that’s still down from the same period last year, when the rate was 5.14 percent.

Similarly, 15-year fixed rate mortgages rose to 4.2 percent, up from 4.15 percent in the previous week, the report said. In the same period for 2009, the rate was 4.54 percent. Five-year adjustable rate mortgages also rose slightly, to 3.77 percent.

“Interest rates on fixed mortgages and the five-year Hybrid ARM rose slightly over the holiday week, but were still below the year’s highs set in the first half of 2010,” said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft. “For the year as a whole, 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged just below 4.7 percent, which represented the lowest annual average since 1955 when secondary market yields on FHA mortgages were above 4.6 percent and the average price of a home was $22,000.”

However, even as rates continue to climb, most consumers are still paying higher interest rates on their mortgage than the current national average, which means that refinancing could save them hundreds of dollars a month.

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